New restrictions

Saturday 6th November was the first day of new restrictions to curb soaring coronavirus infections that require the unvaccinated to have negative Covid-19 tests.  Covid-19 infections in Greece have hit a new daily high almost every day in November, prompting authorities to announce new measures which restrict access to cafes and restaurants, government buildings, state services, retail stores, banks and hair salons to those who are neither vaccinated or have a negative test.  Only exeptions being supermarkets, shops selling food, pharmacies and churches.  Those vaccinated against Covid-19 will have to present their vaccination certificates, creating some queues.  As part of the new measures, all unvaccinated workers should also test negative twice a week, as most unvaccinated in Greece are now required to present a negative test once a week to get to their workplace.

According to data, over 60% of the population of about 11 million people living in Greece are now fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Face masks are still mandatory indoors, apart from restaurants, tavernas and cafes, and at any large outdoor gatherings.

Following the recent record spike in cases, Greeks have been rushing to get vaccinated, with vaccination appointments increasing by 185% in the last 7 days.  The Secretary General of Primary Health Care said that 175,000 appointments were made for the first dose, compared to the previous week of 60,000, an increase of 185%.  Also, there were 275,000 booster dose appointments booked, compared to the 94,000 appointments of the previous week, an increase of 200%.  People are finally getting the message.

More restrictions are planned from Monday 22nd November for those not vaccinated against Covid-19.  This would include barring unvaccinated citizens from all indoor spaces, including cinemas, museums and gyms where access was allowed by presenting a negative Covid test result.  At present, unvaccinated adults are only excluded from indoor eateries.  All shops will open from 10:00 until 21:00 (on weekdays) from Monday, with the aim of avoiding congestion and to tie in with the introduction of staggered working hours in the public and private sector. 

The vaccination certificate for vaccinated persons over 60 years of age would expire to be valid seven months after administering the vaccine.  So this age group will be given one month to receive the booster vaccine.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced that private doctors would be requisitioned to support the National Health System.