Greece sets February deadline for booster jabs

Sun, Jan 9th 2022, 13:48 Last updated on 9/1/22

AFP

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A pedestrian walks past COVID-19 slogans written at a wall in central Athens. Photo: AFP

Greece on Sunday set a February deadline for people to receive coronavirus booster jabs and will bar those without the additional dose from most indoor venues.

"From February 1, anyone who has not taken the booster dose after a seven month period (from the second dose) will be considered unvaccinated," Greek Health Minister Thanos Plevris said in an interview with the Ant1 broadcaster.

"The certificate will be valid, because it is a European certificate valid for nine months, but they will not be able to have the privileges and advantages as to access indoor and other activities that are for the fully vaccinated." 

Greece is struggling to contain a surge of the Omicron variant and encouraging those not vaccinated to get jabbed as well as imposing further restrictions for the vaccinated.  

Since mid-November, unvaccinated people have been largely barred from indoor spaces, including restaurants, cinemas, museums and gyms, even if they test negative for COVID-19.

Ahead of New Year's Eve, the Greek government has implemented new measures as daily cases soared, after Christmas celebrations.

Until January 16, restaurants and entertainment venues are required to close at midnight, are only able to seat tables of six people while music is banned. 

Up to half of employees in the public and private sectors are advised to work from home, up from 20% previously.

The country has recorded 1,489,024 coronavirus cases and 21,328 related deaths since the start of the pandemic.

On December 14, the country said a record 130 people had died of COVID in 24 hours, but that daily figure has since dropped below 100.

On Saturday, Greece announced another 65 people had died of the virus.