by Stavros Papantoniou
A new government campaign is expected to be launched next week with its central message being to encourage people to get vaccinated for Covid-19.
The ultimate aim is to build Greece’s wall of immunity, which will minimize the risk of a new wave of the pandemic, and ensure the normal and smooth operation of the economy and tourism.
The expediting of the vaccination program has become even more imperative due to increasing tourism on the islands and parts of the mainland.
The rise in visitors has prompted restaurant owners to put pressure on the government to allow greater capacity as outdoor areas that are currently operating will not be able to accommodate larger numbers of customers. If indoor dining areas are not opened to meet the expected spike in demand, this could cause significant financial damage to businesses and the state.
The Health Ministry General Secretary for Primary Healthcare Marios Themistokleous announced on Monday that the vaccine platform for the 35-39 age group will open in full on Wednesday, just five days after it opened for 40-44 year-olds. By the beginning of June, it is anticipated that all vaccines for all ages will be available.
This will essentially pave the way for the opening of indoor spaces at restaurants for vaccinated members of the public.
According to Development Minister Adonis Georgiadis, indoor dining will be permitted “when 50% of the population has been vaccinated with at least one dose.” Until Monday, those vaccinated with a single dose came to over 3.2 million, which means that within June this 50%, set by the minister, should be achieved.
At the same time, the lifting of further restrictions, such as the limit of 100 people at weddings and baptisms, could also take place in June.
This article was first published on ekathimerini.com.