Unvaccinated employees in private, public sector now required to present 2 negative Covid tests per week

People who are either unvaccinated or have not completed vaccination, will be facing stricter restrictions in admission to retail stores, banks and hairdressers, said Health Minister Thanos Plevris announced on Tuesday.

During a live briefing on the rising numbers in new coronavirus infections in Greece, Plevris explained that unvaccinated workers in the public and private sectors, and at churches, will need to present a negative rapid or PCR test twice weekly, at their own cost.

The same requirement will apply to unvaccinated people entering public offices, shopping malls, retail outlets, banks, entertainment venues and hairdressers.

The only places where unvaccinated people may enter without having to present a negative test result are supermarkets and food outlets, pharmacies and religious shrines.

Plevris also announced stricter checks and fines (5,000 euros) across all entertainment venues, and the closure of premises for a fortnight, if business owners do not keep up with measures.

The country’s national health system is being prepared to deal with the pandemic’s new wave, added Plevris, as 1,000 intensive care unit beds and 2,000 permanently-hired doctors are part of this effort.

Online appointments for a booster vaccination will open for adults over 18 on Friday, he added, noting that six months must have passed their last vaccination.

EODY chief

The rolling 7-day average for new coronavirus infections is 4,000 cases per day, National Public Health Organization (EODY) president Theoklis Zaoutis said during the briefing.

He added that 40% of all new cases – a new daily record at 6,700 – are located in Macedonia (Central, Eastern and Western). Overall, 25% of new infections are children under 18 years old.

Zaoutis also said that the numbers resemble those in countries with comparable populations, such as Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands.

In 420,000 tests of all kinds of diagnostic tests carried out on Tuesday, 1.6% turned out positive, he said, while he called on more people to get vaccinated.