ATHENS – Greece’s unvaccinated over 60 years old who refused to be inoculated against COVID-19 won’t be forced to take the shot – or be fined for not doing so.
While the vaccinated may be required to get a fourth shot, which includes a second booster, anti-vaxxers in Greece haven’t been required to be vaccinated and there haven’t been reports whether they are being barred from public gathering spots as was mandated by the government.
Those over 60 who weren’t vaccinated will also no longer be fined 100 euros ($111) a month although only 14 percent had paid and it wan’t indicated whether they would be charged in retrospect or be hit with a penalty surcharge too.
Health Minister Thanos Plevris said the fines weree being suspended as the measure had been imposed in mid-January because those over 60 were more susceptible to becoming infected and hospitalized, putting a further strain on the health system.
He said the ministry is still trying to figure out some way to persuade those refusing to be vaccinated to take the shots, a strategy that has failed since the campaign began in 2021.
The government is looking to further ease health restrictions as the summer approaches, eager to get in as many tourists and their money as possible to speed an economic recovery.