The Employers and Industrialists Federation (Oev) on Thursday asked the health ministry to lift all coronavirus measures, saying that other countries were doing this and because businesses cannot take much more.

In a letter addressed to health minister Michalis Hadjipantelas, Oev head Antonios Antoniou wrote that changes in the characteristics of the pandemic mean its management no longer demands strict measures.

“The course of the pandemic and the low number of hospital admissions, despite the recent increase in cases, is proof that the way it should be dealt with is changing,” the letter said, adding that many European member states have lifted all of the restrictions they had imposed to protect public health.

Another consideration, the letter added, is the effect of the sanctions imposed on Russia after its invasion of Ukraine, which “have a direct impact on our economy”.

“Economic activity cannot continue being confined for a third consecutive year,” the letter said.

“Businesses need to immediately resume working uninterrupted to survive, and a return to normality for the whole population will further bolster consumption in this period, which is critical for the economy”.

Oev therefore renewed its suggestion “for the immediate lifting of all restrictive measures imposed so far for managing the pandemic, that are still in force”.

This includes social distancing, SafePass requirements, a cap on venue capacity, but also mass testing and test to stay.

“Let each person, employer and employee take the measures they personally deem necessary”.