Unvaccinated people will need to produce a negative rapid or PCR test to enter banks, public offices, retail outlets, mixed entertainment venues and hairdressers, under new government rules announced on Tuesday to stem the rapid rise in Covid-19 cases.
Announcing the measures as the country recorded its second day of record-high infection numbers, Health Minister Thanos Plevris said the new rules would tighten the framework for the unvaccinated.
“The restrictions will apply to the unvaccinated, as they are much more at risk and there must be measures to protect them,” he said, adding that the new measures will take effect on November 6.
Health authorities reported 6,700 new coronavirus infections in the preceding 24 hours on Tuesday, breaking a previous single-day record of 5,449 that was recorded on Monday.
Under the new rules, all unvaccinated employees in the private and public sectors will be required to take two Covid tests per week (a rapid or PCR test).
In addition, unvaccinated people will need to produce a negative rapid or PCR test to enter banks, public offices, retail outlets, mixed entertainment venues and hairdressers.
That provision will not apply to grocery stores and religious spaces.
Plevris also announced that controls and fines for breaking the rules would be increased, warning that there will be “zero tolerance for those who admit unvaccinated people” without tests into spaces covered by the rules.
Businessowners faced a €5,000 euro fine and having their premises closed for 10 days for breaking the rules.
The minister also announced that the number of ICU beds had been doubled to 1,300.
He also revealed that on November 5, the platform for the third dose for adults over 18 will open. The booster shot will be offered to people six months after their second vaccine shot.
About 60.5% of a population of about 11 million are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, less than the EU average of 64.7%, according to the latest data.
Plevris said that Greece will soon send letters and text messages on mobile phones as part of a new campaign to boost vaccinations. [Kathimerini, with additional reporting from Reuters]