New measures to combat the pandemic will be put in place next week, based on diagnostic tests to allow the vaccinated access to closed spaces.
As authorities wait anxiously about the impact of the Monday opening of schools on the pandemic, there is some encouraging news: the number of daily new Covid cases and the number of hospitalizations seem to be leveling off.
Health authorities announced 2,132 new cases of the coronavirus in the 24-hour period ending 3 p.m. on Friday. There were also 32 fatalities, pushing the total since the start of the pandemic to 14,102. Of those, 95.4% were either over 70 or had a serious underlying illness.
The number of intubated patients also declined on Friday, to 378. Of those, 40 or 10.58% were fully vaccinated.
In order to facilitate testing, the government announced on Friday that tests in private clinics or labs cannot cost more than €10, for self-tests, or €60, for molecular (10,58%) tests.
Starting Monday, unvaccinated employees, both in the private and public sectors, must be tested once a week, at their own expense. But some categories, such as teachers, university academics, employees in tourism and those taking part in TV, theater, music and dance productions must be tested twice weekly. Entry to closed workspaces, entertainment, culture and sports venues requires either a vaccination certificate, a certificate that the person has recovered from the disease or a negative test result.
By law, employers have the right to know which of their employees are vaccinated and which are not. The unvaccinated cannot take free tests in public venues before traveling. And masks are mandatory at any outside gathering.