Unvaccinated Greeks will no longer be allowed into banks, public services, restaurants, cafes, bars and entertainment venues unless they present a negative PCR or rapid test result, Health Minister Thanos Plevris announced on Tuesday, following a spike in coronavirus cases this week.
Greece’s National Public Health Organization (EODY) announced a record 6,700 new Covid-19 cases and 59 deaths on Tuesday prompting Greek authorities to take immediate measures.
In addition to being required to show a negative Covid-19 test to access services and shops, the country’s unvaccinated workers are now obliged to take two tests a week (instead of one), which they will pay for and access their workplace after testing negative twice a week.
The measures go into effect countrywide on November 6, Plevris said.
In efforts to meet the increasing number of hospitalizations, Plevris also said that 1,300 ICUs were available in the public health system in collaboration with the private sector.
He reiterated the need for everyone to get vaccinated, underlining that 85 percent of ICU patients had not been vaccinated against the deadly virus. Nearly 61 percent of a population in Greece is fully vaccinated compared to EU average of 64.7 percent.
In this direction, the government will boost its vaccination awareness-raising drive, which will include sending text messages to the unvaccinated, in efforts to convince more Greeks to get the jab. In the meantime, starting Friday, fully vaccinated adults will be able to register for booster shots.
– both public or private sector employees are now required to test twice a week at their own expense and present negative results
– unvaccinated individuals will be allowed entry to public services, banks and shopping malls as well as restaurants, cafes and bars (both indoors and outside), and hair salons only with a negative test result with the exception of super markets, pharmacies and churches
– children under 18 can enter ‘mixed’ spaces after presenting a negative self-test result
– everyone is strongly advised to wear face masks indoors and outside where there are crowds.
Plevris went on to add that more police inspections would be carried out to ensure adherence to the new rules while violators may face fines starting from 5,000 euros.