Stiff penalties being introduced for vaccine and Covid test fraud

Stiff penalties being introduced for vaccine and Covid test fraud

Doctors and other medical professional found guilty of issuing false certificates of vaccination against or recovery from Covid-19 will be slapped with a 5,000-euro fine for every instance of fraud, according to an amendment submitted by the Health Ministry to Parliament on Monday night. The fine also applies to individuals caught using such false certificates in order to keep their jobs, gain entrance to leisure venues or enjoy other freedoms reserved for the vaccinated.

Stiff fines are also outlined for the owners or managers of medical facilities and care homes that continue to employ staff that has not been vaccinated against Covid-19, in violation of government regulations requiring that all health and care workers are protected against contracting and spreading the virus.

The legislation also makes vaccination mandatory for teaching staff and students at university and technical college medical and nursing schools, specifying that educators who refuse the jab will be suspended from duty without pay until they are inoculated.

It additionally gives employers at healthcare facilities, care homes for the elderly and facilities caring for people with disabilities the right to refuse employment to people who are not vaccinated. They also face a 10,000-50,000 euro fine for every unvaccinated staff member on their payroll. That fine will rise to between 20,000 and 200,000 euros for every repeated offense.

The Health Ministry amendment also puts a cap of 10 euros (not including value-added tax) on the cost of rapid tests at diagnostic and other medical facilities, while penalizing the issuance of false certificates showing a negative Covid test. 

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