Doors Open for Greece's COVID Vaccinated, Close for Unvaccinated

Αssociated Press

People sit at a restaurant in the Plaka district of Athens on Friday July 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

ATHENS – Greece is requiring customers of bars, restaurants and cafes to prove they are vaccinated against COVID-19 if they want to be inside – but will let the unvaccinated mix with them in retail stories.

The ruling New Democracy and its advisory panel of doctors and scientists haven't explained the contradiction although the government is keen to keep tourists coming to help an economy battered by lockdowns.

The site The Ascent, which provides travel advice, noted that the Delta Variant is spreading fast in Greece where many people are ignoring what's left of measures from a lenient lockdown.

People who want to eat or drink outside an establishment can do so even if they're not vaccinated and don't have to wear masks or stay safe social distances apart, which has become common.

Customers will also need to show proof of vaccination if they plan to visit nightclubs, theaters, or cinemas. Greece hopes these efforts will help to curb the spread of COVID-19 and allow tourism to continue at the same time, which isn't working, and with vaccinations mandatory only for health care workers.