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Coronavirus: Anastasiades warns unvaccinated will not drive island back into lockdown

ΠτΔ – Εγκαίνια της νέας Δημοτικής

Some people will inevitably have to be excluded from activities to avoid a full lockdown, President Nicos Anastasiades said on Saturday, warning that “stubbornness” will not be allowed to bankrupt businesses.

Asked whether the government would take more measures against the coronavirus, the president said a two to three-week period will be given to allow more people to get vaccinated either with the first dose of a vaccine against Covid-19, or with the booster jab, or complete their vaccination regimen.

This he said, will be “the first decision that sends a strong message, before taking stricter measures, because we are left with no choice.

“After that, of course, the measures will be tightened,” the president said.

He added that “in order to avoid total lockdown, some people should be excluded, no matter how much we respect their views.” He said there are examples from many countries such as Greece, Austria and France.

“If we do not want to drive companies into bankruptcy because of the stubbornness of some people, we have no choice,” he added.

“They must finally understand that it is time to realise that the individual also has a social responsibility,” Anastasiades said.

Cabinet is to discuss on Wednesday proposals by the advisory committee of experts on coronavirus for possible new measures.

Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantelas said during a vaccination event in Larnaca that they might not announce a lockdown for the unvaccinated, “but there may be some restriction in their movement.”

One of the reasons the virus persists, he added, “is because some people have not decided to get vaccinated.”

The health minister’s spokesperson Constantinos Athanasiou told state broadcaster CyBC earlier in the day that the experts’ proposals have already been submitted to the minister. He said the minister is studying them and will discuss them with the experts during a meeting on Monday.

Among the measures under discussion are teleworking, the mandatory use of a mask in primary schools, self-tests, but also testing among the vaccinated.

The measures to be decided on Monday will be tabled to the cabinet on Wednesday.

Athanassiou did not rule out additional measures if the epidemiological indicators worsen.

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