ATHENS – As is the custom when a Greek government cracks down, Greek police will be back to doing spot checks – for two weeks – on measures against the unvaccinated aimed at slowing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who backed away from a pledge to consider mandatory shots if the health crisis got worse – cases were expected to crack 7000 on Nov. 4 to set a new one day record – has instead moved against those who haven’t been inoculated.
They will allegedly face restrictions to enter a number of public gathering spots, such as restaurants but that has been said before and not been uniformly enforced and many Greeks have returned to a near-normal life, the vaccinated and the unvaccinated mixing, further spreading the Coronavirus.
The measures go into effect on Nov. 4 and police will be out to make sure businesses and individuals are complying, said National Transparency Authority head Angelos Binis.
He said violators will be fined 5,000 euros ($5770) and have their businesses closed for two weeks, a tactic that hadn’t worked earlier but is being tried again after Mitsotakis called an emergency meeting of his advisory health panel.
Checks will be conducted nationwide by 8,000 police officers and 400 employees of the National Transparency Authority and the Ministry of Development, said Kathimerini of the enforcement plan.
The unvaccinated include a hard-core contingent of rabid and sometimes violent anti-vaxxers who don’t believe the vaccines are safe or effective, or are part of an international conspiracy to alter their DNA or control their minds.
Those without shots will be required to show a rapid or PCR molecular test to be able to get into banks, public offices, retail outlets, mixed entertainment venues and hairdressers but churches and religious spaces as well as supermarkets or pharmacies either.
All unvaccinated employees in the private and public sectors will be required to take two COVID tests per week (rapid or PCR) at their own cost of 10 euros ($11.54 each) which comes to 80 euros ($92.33 monthly.)
That’s being done as both a deterrent and an incentive to be vaccinated but no scheme has worked to convince anti-vaxxers who only dig in their heels and get more truculent if they’re being pushed.