Greece will stop fining seniors who have not been vaccinated starting April 15, said Health Minister Thanos Plevris on Thursday, adding that the measure may be reinstated in September when a new wave of Covid-19 is expected.
Plevris said that so far more than 90 percent of the 60+ population in Greece has been vaccinated with 250,000 people getting the jab following the introduction of the 100-euro monthly fine earlier this year.
Referring to other Covid measures, Plevris said the goal was to gradually remove as many as possible, including masks and the use of the so-called “Green Pass” (vaccination certificates) ahead of summer, and based on developments act accordingly.
“We’re not done with the pandemic. There is concern for the coming autumn,” he said.
Meanwhile, other measures lifted include a cap on spectators at sports stadiums which can operate starting on March 26 at full (100 percent) capacity, and as of April 1, school children will be required to take one self-test per week instead of two.
In the meantime, Deputy Health Minister Mina Gaga refuted on Thursday previous comments by infectious diseases expert and member of the government’s Covid management committee, Gkikas Magiorkinis, who said that there may be no need to use of the Covid vaccination certificate during Holy Week ahead of Orthodox Easter on April 24.
Gaga ruled out such a decision noting that Covid (Green) passes will continue to be in use at least until the end of April, which means that unvaccinated individuals or those who have not completed their vaccination cycle (booster shot included) cannot enter nightclubs, indoor dining areas, theaters, cinemas, museums, conferences, exhibitions and gyms and unvaccinated employees are still required to present negative rapid test results.
Lastly, infectious diseases professor Sotiris Tsiodras ruled out the need for a 4th booster shot against Covid-19 for non-vulnerable groups, adding however that the Omicron2 strain of the deadly virus was more infectious. He went on to stress the need for mask-wearing, particularly for high-risk citizens and in crowded areas such as hospitals and mass transport.
Greece’s national public health organization (EODY) reported 23,106 new Covid-19 cases and 53 new deaths over the last 24-hour period.