Adults in Greece not vaccinated against the coronavirus (Covid-19) will be banned from entering more indoor spaces, including cinemas, theaters, museums and gyms as of Monday, November 22, according to an announcement by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
In a televised address to the nation on Thursday, the PM announced new restrictions for the unvaccinated against Covid-19, following a rise in infections in recent weeks and aiming to face a fourth wave of the pandemic.
“We are up against a pandemic of the unvaccinated, since those vaccinated even if they get sick have mild consequences,” the PM said and encouraged those who have not received the jab to reconsider.
“I am optimistic that they will weigh the situation more calmly and realize that if they are vaccinated, their life will finally become much easier. Without additional restrictions and financial burdens, they will be next to their loved ones and feel more comfortable in society. This is exactly the aim of the additional measures that I am announcing today,” Mitsotakis said.
The following new measures will be in force as of Monday:
– All unvaccinated adults, who until now were banned from entering restaurants, cafes and bars, will not be allowed to enter other public venues, including cinemas, theaters, museums or gyms, not even with a negative Covid-19 test.
It is noted that people between the ages of 4 and 17 years old can enter indoor places with a negative Covid-19 self test result.
It should also be clarified that the measure does not include supermarkets, pharmacies, hair salons, shops and hairdressers.
Verification checks to certificates will be conducted at entrances. All certificates (printed or on cell phones) will be scanned by the Covid Free app.
With regard to entering churches, those unvaccinated must present a negative Covid-19 test (rapid or PCR) result from a private health center, or a recovery certificate.
– Vaccination certificates for citizens over 60 will expire for entrance to indoor spaces seven months after the vaccine process was completed (those who have completed vaccination with two doses or with a single-dose vaccine). The PM said that this will allow this age group one month to receive the third dose (booster shot).
– Staggered workdays will be introduced in the public and private sectors, with public and private sector, meaning that employees will start work at different times. This is to avoid overcrowding, especially during arrival and departure times, and minimize exposure on public transit systems. Special provisions will apply for employees with children in school.
Moreover, Mitsotakis said that checks for vaccination certificates will intensify.
He added that Greece’s national health system is being further supported with more intensive care beds in private clinics and that private doctors will be requisitioned where needed.
“We will move forward with this plan for the next two months to have a better Christmas than we did last year,” the Greek PM said.
Mitsotakis added that he intends to send a request to the European Commission for the EU Digital COVID Certificate to be valid only if it states that holders have received the third vaccine dose (booster shot) six months after completing the initial two-dose series.
“This is to avoid any ‘cracks’ in the wall of immunity that has already been built on our continent,” he said.
Greek health authorities on Thursday announced 7,317 new coronavirus cases, 556 patients on ventilators (459 are unvaccinated or have received only the first vaccine dose) and 63 deaths. Since the start of the pandemic, the total number of cases in the country has reached 861,117. The Covid-19 death toll in Greece is 17,075.