Coronavirus Pandemic

Greece to suspend health workers who refuse to get vaccinated

Filed on July 12, 2021
A nursing home resident receives vaccine in Athens. — AFP file

Staff at nursing homes will be suspended starting August 16 if they fail to book a vaccination appointment

Healthcare workers in Greece will be suspended if they refuse to get vaccinated under a new mandatory policy announced on Monday by the country’s prime minister.

Staff at nursing homes will be suspended starting August 16 if they fail to book a vaccination appointment, with a similar policy to follow in September for workers at state-run and private hospitals.

Starting Friday, and until the end of August, all indoor commercial areas, including bars, cinemas, and theatres, will only be available for the vaccinated.

“After a year and a half, no one can claim ignorance about the coronavirus anymore,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in a televised address. “The country will shut down again due to attitude adopted by certain people ... It’s not Greece that’s a danger, but unvaccinated Greeks.”

The new restrictions will apply nationwide, including the Greek islands and other key tourism destinations.

Covid-19 infections in Greece have surged since late June, with authorities blaming carelessness at bars and restaurants as well as the spread of the highly infectious delta variant. The number of daily infections per 100,000 residents over seven days rose from 3.5 on June 24 to above 17 now.

Just over 40 per cent of residents have been fully vaccinated but appointments to start the vaccine process have been falling in recent weeks — prompting the government to increase the pressure on vaccine sceptics.

Authorities on Thursday will begin accepting vaccination requests from minors over 14 with parental consent.

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