The strictest post-down lockdown measures taken to date by the Greek government were unveiled on Thursday evening by PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis, with all unvaccinated adults in the country prohibited from entering closed public spaces as of Monday.
As such, cinemas, theaters, museums and gyms are included in the measure.
The more-or-less expected “crack down” on so-called “anti-vaxxers” came as Thursday witnessed another 63 related deaths and 556 intubated patients suffering from acute Covid-19 symptoms. Daily confirmed infections over the past two weeks have exceeded 6,000 to 7,000 cases.
Previous right of entry, with the presentation of negative rapid or PCR tests, into closed public spaces is also abolished.
In a bid to avoid criticism of a “heavy-handed” reaction vis-à-vis a significant minority of adults in the country, especially those over the age of 70, still not vaccinated, Mitsotakis said this was an “indirect act” towards protection and an “indirect exhortation” to get vaccinated.
On the sensitive issue of church-going, speaking during a nationally televised broadcast, Mitsotakis said people entering houses of worship must present negative lab tests for the Covid-19 virus, something he said even foreseen in an encyclical issued by the Holy Synod of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Greece.
Additionally, he said a two- or one-dose “vax certificate” for entry into closed public spaces for individuals above the age of 60 will expire after seven months from its publication, another measure aimed at getting people in at-risks categories vaccinated with a third dose.
Another non-medical measure announced will be the imposition of rolling work schedules, meaning different arrival and departure times for employees at shops, companies and the public sector, along with stepped up checks and inspections.
Finally, Mitsotakis said more resources will be funneled into the national health system, something that will include both new hirings and the civil conscription of private sector physicians.