Greek PM presents “roadmap” for coronavirus recovery

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis presented on Wednesday a “roadmap” for the further reopening of his country’s economy and social life in May.

Greece has been in a nationwide COVID-19 lockdown since Nov. 7, 2020, which is now being gradually eased.

In a televised address to the nation, Mitsotakis said that Greeks will not be allowed to travel freely during the Christian Orthodox Easter, which will be celebrated on May 2, due to the still severe epidemic situation, but further steps towards “freedom” will be made in May.

“The policy of gradual and controlled lifting of restrictions pays off … Our goal is a safe Easter and a free summer,” Mitsotakis said.

According to the government’s timetable, on May 3 the catering sector will partially restart with customers allowed to be served outdoors, and the night-time curfew will start at 11:00 p.m. instead of 9:00 p.m. currently, he said.

On May 10, Greece’s kindergartens, primary and middle schools will reopen, he said. High schools have restarted a few days ago.

As of May 15, Greece will be open to tourism, travel between the country’s regions will be allowed and the culture sector will also begin to reopen.

The Greek leader reiterated his call on his compatriots to get vaccinated.

“Vaccines are effective and the herd immunity wall is built at a rapid pace … I will ask you to shield your health with this great gift of science. Danger does not lurk in the vaccine but in the disease,” he said.

As of next week, vaccination will also be available for those aged over 30, he said.

To date, about 2.6 million vaccine doses have been administered in Greece, with over 770,000 people having received both doses, according to the latest official figures released by the authorities.

As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, vaccination is underway in an increasing number of countries with the already-authorized coronavirus vaccines.

Meanwhile, 275 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide — 91 of them in clinical trials — in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain and the United States, according to information released by the WHO on April 20.

On Wednesday, the Greek authorities reported 3,015 new coronavirus infections and 86 deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of infections to 323,639 and that of fatalities to 9,713 since the start of the pandemic.