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Society

Major Greek Universities Open, Vaccinations, COVID Tests Required

ATHENS – The school year for many of Greece's universities students began Oct. 4 with a requirement for them as well as staff and academics to be vaccinated against COVID-19, have a negative test or proof of recovery from the Coronavirus.

It was a return to in-class teaching after the lost academic year of 2020-21 with the pandemic forcing online remote courses in a bid to slow the spread of COVID-19 as part of lockdowns shutting non-essential businesses too.

Athens University’s schools of philosophy and literature, the universities of Crete, Ioannina and Thessaly, and the National Technical University of Athens opened a week ahead of the rest of those around the country, set for Oct. 11.

The Education Ministry set aside 2.6 million euros ($3.02 million) for universities to hire monitors for checking certificates at the door of classrooms and lecture theaters, where there can be more than 200 students at a time.

There will also be facilities on campuses offering vaccinations as the country's Eleftheria (Freedom) campaign has stalled at around 56 percent of the population being inoculated, far short of the 70 percent health authorities said is needed to beat back the pandemic.                

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