Greece Tightens Covid Restrictions on the Unvaccinated


As Greece broke one other document in each day coronavirus infections this week, registering 6,700 new circumstances inside the previous 24 hours, the nation’s well being minister introduced a sequence of latest restrictions geared toward flattening the spike.

The restrictions, that are to use from Saturday, relate to unvaccinated folks, mentioned the well being minister, Thanos Plevris.

All unvaccinated staff — besides those that do business from home completely — should endure two Covid-19 assessments per week. A adverse fast or PCR check will even be required from unvaccinated individuals who need to entry public companies, banks, outlets and hair salons. The similar will apply at cafes and eating places, that are allowed to serve the unvaccinated outside. The guidelines won’t apply to supermarkets, pharmacies and church buildings.

The authorities will even intensify inspections and increase fines on companies that violate rules, growing the minimal high-quality to five,000 euros, from 1,000, Mr. Plevris mentioned.

In addition, in a bid to spice up a lagging vaccination drive, the authorities is launching a marketing campaign to win over the unvaccinated, sending textual content messages to cellphones and operating notices in the media extolling the advantages of the vaccine. “Our key weapon in this phase of the campaign is the vaccine,” Mr. Plevris mentioned, including that “the more intense restrictive measures” imposed earlier in the pandemic weren’t an possibility, apparently referring to nationwide lockdowns.

The bulletins got here as Greece experiences a pointy upturn in its each day an infection fee, breaking document after document: 4,696 on Saturday, 5,449 on Monday and 6,700 on Tuesday.

Last month the authorities lifted some pandemic restrictions, mainly for vaccinated folks, in areas the place coronavirus circumstances have been the highest. In late September and early October, the each day an infection fee appeared to have stabilized at round 2,000 new circumstances per day however began edging up late final month.

Greece — a nation of 10.7 million, the place six in 10 folks have been absolutely vaccinated — enjoys a vaccination fee just like the remainder of Europe. Mr. Plevris, the well being minister, mentioned on Tuesday that 63 p.c of the normal inhabitants has been absolutely vaccinated. The corresponding fee for the European Union is 64.3 p.c, based on the vaccine tracker of the European Center for Disease and Control.

But different E.U. states have utilized harder restrictions on the unvaccinated. Italy has a few of the bloc’s most stringent rules, notably the Green Pass, a compulsory well being certificates for Italian staff which has fueled violent protests throughout the nation. France has launched the same cross, which has additionally met with vehement public opposition.

Protests in Greece have been common however comparatively small in dimension. On Wednesday, a rally in Athens towards necessary vaccinations for well being staff drew a number of hundred demonstrators.