New testing requirements and attendance restrictions on people who aren’t vaccinated against Covid-19 went into effect in Greece on Monday.
The measures include requiring weekly or twice-weekly testing for unvaccinated workers, and allowing access to certain indoor venues only to those who are vaccinated or have a certificate verifying they have recovered from Covid-19 in the last six months.
The measures will apply through March 31.
Under the new regulations, all private and public sector workers without a certificate proving vaccination or recent recovery from Covid-19 will have to undergo one rapid test per week.
Two tests per week will be required for people working in academia, tourism, restaurants, cafes, bars, and in entertainment productions, as well as school and university students.
The tests will be conducted at private facilities, with the 10-euro cost to be paid by the tested individuals. Only school students will be eligible for free tests.
Indoor entertainment venues, restaurants, bars and cafes will only be accessible to vaccinated or recently recovered customers, with verification checks conducted at entrances through an app that scans Covid-19 certificates.
Unvaccinated people will be able to enter indoor movies, theaters, museums, archaeological sites and gyms only with proof of a negative rapid test conducted up to 48 hours earlier. Venues will have the right to admit only vaccinated customers if they wish.
Masks will be mandatory for everyone in indoor public areas and in outdoor crowded areas.
Proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative rapid test within the past 48 hours will also be required to travel by plane, train, boat or long-distance bus for anyone age 12 and over. For children ages 5-12, a self-test is acceptable, with the results uploaded to a government website.
Vaccines are freely available in Greece to anyone over the age of 12.
“If the measures are properly implemented, we should be able to avoid what happened last October,” infectious disease expert and government adviser Gkikas Magiorkinis said last week referring to a sharp increase of Covid-19 infections almost a year ago.
Health authorities announced 1,319 new cases of the coronavirus for the 24-hour period ending 3 p.m. Sunday, as well as 28 deaths.
The number of patients on ventilators was 378 early Sunday afternoon, up from 375 day earlier and down from 381 last Sunday. Of the 378, 38 were fully vaccinated.
Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 615,157 confirmed coronavirus cases, with 14,169 fatalities. [AP, Kathimerini]