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Society

Greece: New Rules for COVID-Free Restaurants, Cafes, Bars and Clubs Kick in from Friday

ATHENS — The new rules for the hospitality and entertainment sectors, including restaurants, cafes, bars, clubs and places of entertainment, will start to apply throughout Greece on Friday, with government officials warning that inspections will be frequent and strict in order to ensure compliance with the measures.

The measures will apply from July 16 until August 31 and include the following:

– Only seated customers (no dancing or standing at the bar) will be permitted in places of entertainment, both indoors and outdoors

– Indoor spaces (restaurants etc, cinemas and theatres) can only operate as Covid Free venues that admit only Covid-immunised customers, either through vaccination or illness and operate at 85 pct capacity

– For indoor places of entertainment, in particular, they are permitted to operate only as Covid Free venues with the coverage of up to 85 pct of usable surface area while also observing the distancing and protection rules. All places of entertainment, both indoors and outdoors, must follow the minimum distance rules that apply for the restaurant sector.

– Owners of outdoor places of entertainment can choose to operate them as Covid Free areas.

– Minors can only enter Covid Free hospitality or entertainment venues after taking a negative self-test that is attested by a parent.

Fines and Penalties

Violation of the above rules carries stiff fines and penalties that escalate for repeat offenders and according to the size of the venue.

The fine for a first offence ranges from 2,000 euros for premises under 200 square metres and a week-long closure of the business, or a fine of 5,000 euros and week-long closure for larger premises.

The fine rises to 10,000 euros for all establishments and a 15-day closure for a second offence.

Businesses that violate the rules a third time will have their operating licence temporarily removed for a period of 60 days.

A repeat offence can be any violation of the rules listed above, not necessarily the same one, and can be imposed on the basis of any evidence showing a violation.

Signage

Employers in both the public and private sector will have the right to ask to be informed whether their employees have been vaccinated or not.

As a part of the measures against the novel coronavirus, businesses can display one or more of the following signs that have been established, indicating whether a space is either Covid-Free, Mixed (in the case of outdoor spaces) or whether the staff are all fully vaccinated. The signs can be downloaded from https://covidfree.gov.gr/

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