Greece will start vaccinating teenagers once it gets the go-ahead from medical experts and will require vaccination certificates or negative tests from everyone heading to its islands from Monday, authorities have announced.
Athens earlier this week offered those aged 18-25 cash in exchange for getting a shot.
But Vana Papaevangelou, a member of the committee of infectious disease experts advising the government, said they were now considering advising the government to target youngsters aged 15 to 17.
“June has been an exceptional month. Cases dropped by 75%,” she said at a briefing. But the drop had halted lately, probably due to the Delta variant or a loosening of health rules.
A small rise in infections last week and concerns over the more contagious Delta variant also prompted the government to impose stricter rules to cover the islands.
From Monday, everyone heading to its islands will need to display one of the following documents: a Covid-19 vaccination certificate, proof of recent recovery from the virus, a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure or a negative rapid test conducted 42 hours before traveling
“The Delta variant is 100% more contagious than the original virus and 40% to 60% more contagious than the British variant,” said Papaevangelou.
“The question now is how to delay its spread until vaccinations advance more,” she said.
Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias said curbs to contain any surges of the pandemic would be localised.
About 44% of Greeks aged over 18 have been vaccinated and the country has been easing restrictions as infections fall.