Greek Health Minister Vasilis Kikilias announced on Tuesday new measures for admission to indoor spaces including restaraunts and bars and testing requirements that go into effect on September 13 aiming to stop the spread of Covid-19 and to protect the public health system.
“These rules are not punitive,” said Kikilias but are meant to safeguard the community.
So far more than 5 million people have been vaccinated in Greece. Kikilias underlined the importance of vaccination and the responsibility for all to get the jab noting that 90 percent of all patients in ICUs have not been vaccinated.
New Rules for Indoor Spaces, Gyms, Schools, Work
More specifically :
– Health sector employees including doctors and pharmacists who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19 with at least the first dose will be placed on suspension
– as of September 13, unvaccinated employees in the public or private sectors will be required to pay 10 euros to take one rapid (antgen) test per week at a private health center and then upload results to the government’s Covid-19 platform (gov.gr)
– employees in tourism, education, entertainment and television will be required to pay for two rapid tests (10 euros each) each week at a private health facility and submit the result to egov.gr
– pupils will be required to take two self-tests provided for free each week while university students will be required to pay for two rapid (antigen) tests (10 euros each) per week and upload the result on the government’s Covid platform
– unvaccinated travelers using plane, boat, bus, or train will be required to take one rapid (antigen) test 48 hours ahead of travel (self-tests children aged 5-12) at a private health center (10 euros) and upload result on gov.gr. Verification will be conducted at check-in and via the Covid Free app
– as of September 13, only vaccinated individuals will have access to public healthcare facilities for free testing.
With regard to access to closed spaces, as of September 13 to March 31, 2022:
– Only those who are fully vaccinated or have proof of recovery (at least six months) will have access to closed spaces including cafés, bars, restaurants. Verification will take place at the entrance of the establishment via the Covid Free app
– indoor sports areas will be open only to the vaccinated or those with proof of recovery. Verification on admission via the Covid Free app
– indoor arts and entertainment venues including museums, cinemas, theaters, and archaeological sites, can be accessed by anyone with a negative rapid test taken 48 hours ahead of visit or a Covid-19 vaccination certificate. Verification on admission via the Covid Free app. These establishments can choose to operate as vaccinated-only (at 100 percent capacity) or mixed spaces (at reduced capacity)
– indoor gyms and sports facilities are open to all provided they have taken an antigen test 48 hours ahead of session or hold a vaccination certificate. Verification on admission via the Covid Free app. They can request of their members to be fully vaccinated or to provide proof of recovery
– employers have the right by law to request employee vaccination or testing status at any time and can suspend employees
– the use of face masks is mandatory in all indoor areas for all with the exception of restaurants and in crowded spaces
Penalties for violations include suspension from work, suspension from class (at schools and universities), ban on movement for travelers, said Kikilias.
In the last 24-hour period, Greece recorded 2,628 new Covid-19 cases and 34 deaths. ICU ward capacity is at 68.75 percent and regular Covid-19 wards at 45.04 percent.
Earlier this week authorities said that Greece would soon be ready to proceed with the third dose (booster shots) which is primarily aimed at vulnerable groups at higher risk of infection.
Stressing the importance of complete vaccination, Matina Pagoni, president of the Athens and Piraeus Hospital Doctors’ Association (EINAP), said on Monday that all non-vaccinated individuals would be infected with Covid-19 at some point.
Meanwhile, 47 businesses were suspended over the August 20-22 period for failing to implement Covid-19 regulations.