We all knew in advance that the decision to open Greece’s borders after the pandemic lockdown and to restart tourism was a high-risk proposition.

It was, however, deemed necessary in order to salvage whatever possible of the tourist season and to temper the damage to the economy from the pandemic as much as possible.

That decision was taken on the condition that this summer would not be as care-free as previous ones.

Activities which during an evolving health crisis are patently dangerous would obviously be banned despite dissatisfaction in many quarters.

From that vantage point the decision about a month ago to allow religious festivals (with live music and dance) and indeed with the guideline that participants remain seated was unnecessary.

Those who expected that participants in the festivities would follow health guidelines were out of touch with reality. Such events are inextricably linked to crowds, dancing, and bodily contact.

From time to time we justly criticise the irresponsibility of many of our fellow citizens who flaunt the basic health precautions yet in this case the government is primarily responsible because it complacently permitted such events to take place.

Aside from the fact that the move was destined to fail, the decision sent the wrong message.

It signaled that this summer would be like all past ones.

Unfortunately, that is not the case.

We must at long last realise this.

One need only look at the number of new coronavirus cases yesterday.

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