Employees in Greece’s transport sector are among those that must undergo mandatory self-testing for the coronavirus once a week, the Greek government has announced.
Speaking during Wednesday’s Covid-19 briefing, Greek Labor Minister Kostis Hatzidakis said that self-testing will be compulsory as of next week for a number of public and private sector employees.
According to Hatzidakis, private sector employees that must have a negative self-test result – once a week – before arriving to their workplace are those employed in retail, supermarkets, food and beverage stores/establishments, transport (land, coastal shipping, aviation, etc), cleaning services, barbershops, hairdressing and beauty salons and betting agencies (OPAP).
Employees of the public sector that must self-test once a week include those working in KEP offices (Citizens’ Service Centers), municipalities and court employees. People employed in local sanitation services and in “Help at Home” program must also self-test for Covid-19.
Public and private sector employees will receive their self-test kits from local pharmacies once a week, starting from Monday, April 19. All self-test kits will be free of charge.
Once a week, before going to work they must take their self-test at home and then register the result on the Ergani (national employment monitoring system) online platform that can be accessed through the self-testing.gov.gr website by using their AMKA (social security) number.
If an employee has a negative result, they can go to work as usual after registering it on the platform.
However, if someone tests positive they must undergo a second test at a testing facility (free of charge if it is a state health facility) and then self isolate until the result comes out. If the result is positive again the employee will be excused from work to complete a mandatory quarantine.
Minister Hatzidakis said that employers will have the right not to accept the services of an employee (and suspend his or her salary) that has not undergone a self-test or has not registered the result on the Ergani platform.
Employers that do not comply and ascertain that their workers are self-tested every week will be fined 300 euros. Employers will be fined 500 euros for each employee who is discovered at work without having registered his or her self-test result.
Moreover, if an employee is found working while having tested positive for Covid-19, the employer will be fined 1,500 euros.
Hatzidakis also said that employees also have the option of taking rapid or PCR tests but at their own (or their employers) expense.
The mandatory self-testing of employees is part of Greece’s Covid-19 self-testing strategy which aims to detect asymptomatic cases.
Greek health authorities on Wednesday announced 3,089 new coronavirus cases and 81 deaths. The number of intubated patients has reached 809.
Since the start of the pandemic, the total number of cases in the country has reached 304,184. The Covid-19 death toll in Greece is 9,135.