Health Minister Thanos Plevris said today that a second package of public health measures scheduled to take effect on 3 January may be implemented sooner, and that additional restrictions on evening entertainment may be implemented.

The National Committee on COVID-19 will convene again on 27 December to review the epidemiological situation and recommend additional measures.

Any new measures will focus of entertainment events, hours of operation of establishments, athletic events, tele-work, and unnecessary activities.

Weighing public health measures

Sources have told that the Committee is mulling five key measures: Closure of nightclubs, closure of restaurants and bars at 23:00 or 00:00, increasing tele-work by 50 percent, athletic matches without spectators or with the stadium filled to 10 percent of capacity, ban on school trips, and instituting a tougher protocol for closing a class when a student has been infected.

Plevris said prospective measures will include a nexus of restrictions in night-time entertainment, where there is crowding, and will not pertain to restaurants.

The planned duration of the measures is 15 days.

“There will be a discussion on Monday for us to define the problem. Regular restaurants are not super-spreading venues, but places where there is more night-time entertainment are.

Plevris said that the strategy is to tighten regulations – either with restricted hours of operation or regulation of customers who are standing

Measures at athletics stadiums

Plevris announced that strict public health measures will be in effect for matches, as masks are not worn there.

“We saw that although there is a check on those who enter vaccinated, fans do not wear masks, and that is why they are forcing us to impose restrictions at stadiums,” the minister said.

Plevris said that if public health measures are not enforced at matches until the end of the year, then after 3 January the measures will involve banning spectators in stadiums or allowing them operate at a small percentage of capacity.