The Infectious Diseases Committee took another small step back to normalcy, but its decisions made it clear that a key concern at the moment is an Easter reminiscent, as far as possible, of pre-pandemic times.

The partial relaxation focused on stadiums, school trips and entertainment, while there was a reduction in the rate of telework, something that had not been heard in the previous days.

What changes from Saturday 19 February

In particular, from next Saturday, February 19, the new decisions regarding the relaxation of the measures in the stadiums, the entertainment, the school trips and the telework will be implemented.

In particular, it was decided:

Lifting the ban on standing attendance in the entertainment industry
Restoration of school trips
Increase in stadium occupancy to 50%
Implementation of telework in the private and public sector at 20%

Regarding school trips, from March 1, multi-day trips will be allowed, in which teachers and students – vaccinated or not – will have to take a rapid test 48 hours before departure. During the trip, all students and teachers should take the regular weekly tests (self / rapid depending on the case). During the excursions / visits, the specific health protocols that apply in each case must be observed, e.g. conditions of means of transport, entrance to museums, etc.

The Minister of Health, Thanos Plevris, stated: “At its meeting, the Committee of Experts, at the request of the Government, recommended the lifting of the ban on standing entertainment, the start of school trips, the increase of stadium occupancy to 50% and the implementation of telework in the private and public sectors at 20 % ».

At today’s meeting, the committee will consider other requests.

“Blocking” King Carnival

In addition to all the lifting of measures that they said “yes” to, however, the Committee on Infectious Diseases said a “no” regarding carnival events, as it was judged that such a thing, despite the positive messages that exist from the reduction recorded by the hard indicators of the pandemic, will endanger the main goal which is none other than an Easter reminiscent of old normalcy without restrictions and having as the only required measure (always for the fully vaccinated) wearing masks indoors.

The main fear of the members of the committee for the carnival parades is that the over-transmission events, combined with the mobility of the population and the trips to carnivals, will very quickly overturn the image of stabilization and slow down the progress in dealing with the epidemic, which has been achieved with difficulty in the last month.