The Cabinet decided on Friday to ease in a targeted way a number of measures that were imposed to contain the spread of pandemic as of Saturday, including increasing the presence of spectators at football matches to 75% of stadium capacity, increasing the number of people in the audience in theatres, amphitheaters, cinemas and entertainment venues as well as the number of people allowed, among other establishments, in churches, hotels, restaurants, bars, pubs and clubs.
All the other measures continue to be in place until October 29.
In a press release the Ministry of Health said that Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantelas informed the Cabinet about the current epidemiological situation, noting that there is a steady improvement of epidemiological and hospital indicators, a drop in the number of new cases of COVID-19 and a decreased of the number of people needing hospital treatment as well as a drop in new deaths.
Nevertheless, it is added, as Hadjipantelas explained, it is thought necessary in the coming days to have targeted relaxation of measures in place.
“The change in weather conditions in the coming days and the scientific community’s assessments that a likely flare-up of seasonal winter season infections in combination with COVID-19 make it imperative to carefully lift restrictions so that the spread of the virus within the community can be minimised,” the press release noted.
Taking into consideration the above and the fact that additional time should be granted in order to increase the number of people, who belong in groups at increased risk of serious illness, who are vaccinated with the third dose, the Cabinet decided the following:
Spectators in football matches are allowed up to 75% of the stadium’s capacity provided that they have a vaccination certificate (vaccinated with both doses or two weeks following vaccination with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine), or they have a recovery from COVID-19 certificate in the past six months or a PCR negative test valid for 72 hours.
Theatres, amphitheaters, cinemas and other entertainment halls can operate with a maximum number of 300 people in the audience for indoors spaces or 350 for outdoors spaces. Both will require a safe pass. The venues can operate at 75% capacity and people entering should have a vaccination certificate (vaccinated with both doses or two weeks following vaccination with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine), or they have a recovery from COVID-19 certificate in the past six months or a PCR negative test valid for 72 hours.
Social events establishments or spaces can accommodate indoors a maximum of 300 people from 250 allowed previously with a safe pass, or 500 people from 450 previously provided they have a vaccination certificate (vaccinated with both doses or two weeks following vaccination with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine), or they have a recovery from COVID-19 certificate in the past six months. The number of people per table increases to 12 from 10 previously. Protocols for the physical distance measures continue to be in place.
According to the Ministry of Health the above changes for the maximum number of people concern the presence of people in church or other forms or religious worship, weddings, christenings and funerals, events such as wedding or christening receptions in restaurants, events and reception centres, hotels and /or tourist accommodation venues and entertainment venues, restaurants, taverns, cafeterias, pubs, snack -bars and bars, coffee shops, restaurants within shopping centres, hotels and other tourist establishments, kiosks or sports clubs, cultural clubs, associations, reception halls, nightclubs, other evening entertainment venues and spectators in sports events in stadiums and sports premises other than football stadiums.
“The Ministry will continue to monitor closely epidemiological indicators and review data as they evolve on a regular basis,” the press release said.
The goal, it added, is to ensure maximum protection which will allow authorities to sufficiently meet the needs likely to arise in view of winter.
A relevant Decree will be issued.