People that remain unvaccinated against Covid-19 will face the imposition of yet more restrictions beginning next week, according to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis who made a televised address on Thursday amid an unrelenting surge in the pandemic in recent weeks.
More specifically, unvaccinated people will be barred from entering more indoor spaces including cinemas, museums and gyms as of Monday, November 22, to ensure, as Mitsotakis said, that Greece has a “better Christmas this year than last year.” Indicatively, unvaccinated adults, who until now were only excluded from indoor eateries, will no longer be able to access additional indoor venues with a negative Covid test result.
“It is an immediate act of protection and, of course, to urge people to get vaccinated,” he said. “The vaccine gives victory to people and not to disease,” he said, emphasizing that “today, more than 7 million Greeks have chosen the vaccine – three out of four adults.”
He bemoaned however that “575,000 fellow citizens over the age of 60 remain unprotected and we know that they are being hit hardest by the virus.” Almost 1.5 million of the same group, he noted, completed their vaccination six month ago. “Although protected, they become more vulnerable, as they have fewer antibodies,” he said. Bearing this in mind, Mitsotakis announced that the vaccination certificates of those aged over 60 would expire seven months after the completion of the initial shots. Given that a booster shot is necessary six month after the second dose of the vaccine, this means that this age group will be given a month to get it before their vaccination certificate loses its validity.
Staggered working hours will also apply in the public and private sectors in order to avoid overcrowding, especially at rush hour times and on public transport while special provisions will apply for parents with school children.
Mitsotakis also said inspections would be ramped up.
“Inspections will continue, even more intensively. There are no ‘suckers’ and ‘know-it-alls’ in a national battle. Everyone must enter it more decisively, taking on their responsibilities: the state, the local government, the scientific bodies but also the individual professional associations,” he said.
Regarding churchgoers, he said that unvaccinated churchgoers should have a negative laboratory test, as the Synod of the Orthodox Church of Greece has already called for.