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Greece to lift mandatory mask use for COVID-19 from June

Xinhua | Updated: 2022-05-19 10:21

A man wearing a protective face mask against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) walks in the neighbourhood of Dendropotamos, in Thessaloniki, Greece, Jan 7, 2022. [Photo/Agencies]

ATHENS - Greece is to lift the mandatory use of protective face masks for COVID-19 in indoors and outdoors public spaces from June to September, Greek Health Minister Thanos Plevris announced on Wednesday.

"From June 1, 2022 to Sept 15, 2022 the mandatory use of the mask is suspended in all indoor and outdoor areas. These include airplanes and intercity transport where there is a numbered seat, such as trains and buses," he said via the Greek national broadcaster ERT.

The measure concerns the public as well as employees, he noted.

Mask wearing remains mandatory in hospitals, care facilities for the elderly, as well as urban transport, like buses and the metro, according to an e-mailed ministry press release.

Announcements regarding schools and sea transports will follow next week.

Although the measure is lifted and no fines will be imposed, "we still advise and recommend, in particular to people belonging to vulnerable groups, to continue wearing masks," the official said.

Lately, Greek authorities have gradually lifted most restrictive measures for COVID-19.

On Wednesday, the National Public Health Organization (EODY) announced 4,626 new infections and 19 deaths within 24 hours, while 161 patients were on ventilators nationwide. Although the numbers of new daily cases remain high, the pressure on the healthcare system is now manageable, experts noted.

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