Europe, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Greek premier announces new COVID measures

Health care staff will have to be vaccinated as of Sept. 1, while all indoor venues will only accept vaccinated people

Magda Panoutsopoulou   | 13.07.2021
Greek premier announces new COVID measures Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis during to receive his shot of the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against the coronavirus (COVID-19), at the Attikon University Hospital in Athens, Greece on December 27, 2020. ( Kostas Tsironis /Epa - Anadolu Agency )

ATHENS 

Greece's prime minister announced Monday that vaccination for health care personnel will be mandatory as of September as the country continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic.

Following a recent surge in cases, Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in a televised address that vaccination will be mandatory for all staff in private and public hospitals as of Sept. 1, while unvaccinated people will be banned from entering indoor facilities.

Specifically, the Greek premier said that all staff at care facilities for the elderly are obliged to be fully vaccinated, and those who do not comply will be placed on work suspension as of Aug. 16.

All indoor venues including entertainment facilities and sports arenas will only accept vaccinated people, while a digital application that will be set up will provide vaccination confirmation, Mitsotakis said.

"The country will not shut down because of some people's attitude," he stressed.

He also clarified that all entertainment venues will not be able to accommodate standing people during the summer, while cafes and restaurants -- currently only allowed outdoor seating -- will be able to add more tables outdoors, he said.

The government's aim is to vaccinate at least 70% of the country’s adult population, he said, and referred to two obstacles: the Delta variant of the virus and those who do not want to be vaccinated.

"It's a double threat that all countries have to deal with,” Mitsotakis said.

Greece registered 2,065 new infections in the last 24 hours, the National Public Health Organization (EODY) reported Monday, bringing the total count to 440,872 infections since the start of the pandemic.

Ten deaths were also recorded in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of pandemic victims to 12,802.

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