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Greece's 5-11 Year-Olds Barred from Indoor Spots Without COVID Tests

The National Herald

(Photo by Eurokinissi, file)

ATHENS – Stepped up restrictions and a push for vaccinations in Greece will require children 5-11 to show proof of a negative COVID-19 self-test for admittance to indoor entertainment and leisure venues.

Those are also off limits to the unvaccinated, bringing worry those businesses owners that they will lose a big chunk of customers although fake certificates are being peddled online and found distributed at some state vaccination centers.

New Democracy government spokesman Yiannis Oikonomou said on that those aged 12-17 - who have the option of being vaccinated, with their parents’ consent – will be allowed if they have a rapid negative test in the previous 48 hours.

The government is trying to rein in a resurging pandemic that's been overtaken  by the especially-contagious Delta Variant from India but has failed to convince enough people to be vaccinated.

Only about 56 percent are fully protected and health advisors said a benchmark of 70 percent of the population of 10.7 million is needed to work against the pandemic amid fears of a fourth wave coming in autumn.

Oikonomou said that of the 800,000 or so self-tests taken by pupils ahead of their schools’ reopening on Sept. 13 that just 1,000 to 1,500 came back positive but there is anxiety it could spread now that they are in close contact again.

The Civil Aviation Authority said that children from 4 years old and up will have to have their parents produce a negative self-test before being allowed to board any flights, domestic or international.