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Society

Greece’s COVID Unvaccinated Face Restrictive Lives, Suspensions

ATHENS – Hard-core resisters in Greece against being vaccinated as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads on the back of the Delta Variant will find themselves shut out of public gathering spots while health care workers who aren't inoculated will be suspended without pay.

In a bid to pressure people to be vaccinated without making it mandatory, the New Democracy government is expected to issue strict conditions for those who still refuse to get the shot, likely announced on Aug. 24.

It's expected that the restrictions for the unvaccinated will take effect in the autumn, when Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis also said he would mall mandatory shots for all if the pandemic lingers.

This essentially means that the unvaccinated will not be able to enter the interiors of entertainment venues (indoor restaurants, cafes, bars, theaters and cinemas, as well as sport stadiums) while the vaccinated will be admitted, showing documents.

Government spokesman Yiannis Oikonomou told SKAI TV that, “We are not done with the pandemic, it is persistent and is not backing down, contrary to the stubbornness of those who interpret things in their own way.”

“Either these people will be vaccinated, or they will get sick, endangering society in its entirety, including those who are already vaccinated, and that is unfair,” he said. “We do not count votes with the numbers of vaccinations, we count human lives,” Oikonomou said.

A court in Kilkis, northern Greece, rejected an appeal filed by an employee against her mandatory vaccination. The site Eidisis.gr said the worker wanted the court to temporarily suspend the application of the law regarding her mandatory vaccination at the facility where she works.

She requested an exemption on the grounds of health, which the government said would be allowed in some cases and that review committees would be set up around the check.

She also reportedly challenged the mandatory shots for health workers as unconstitutional, with those in nursing homes already being suspended and

The court rejected both the cited health reasons she provided, ruling that they are not covered by the relevant provisions of law.

The court said the relevant provisions of the law “do not bear any unconstitutionality, as the applicant unjustifiably invokes, as they protect the supreme legal good of health and life of all citizens, and especially vulnerable groups,” including the elderly.

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