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Society

No Vaccinations, COVID-19 Tests? Locked Out of Greek Venues Seen

ATHENS – Greece's New Democracy government is said moving cautiously toward a requirement that people will have to show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or proof they aren't infected or they will be barred from bars, restaurants, stores, cinemas, concerts and where people gather.

With little more than 12 percent of the country of 10.7 million now fully inoculated, the government wants to avoid stigmatizing those who haven't had the chance to get both shots of most versions or the single-shot Johnson & Johnson.

But Greece, like other countries, has a small hard-core contingent of anti-vaxxers who don't think the shots are safe and effective despite scientific proof to the contrary, or that they will change their DNA to take over their bodies and minds.

A guideline being mulled, said Kathimerini, would be to require the vaccination certificate or negative test, or having survived the virus, to be able to go to where other people congregate as a lenient lockdown is gradually being ended.

For those who choose the option of tests, they will have to pay the cost and do them every time they want to go into a venue, that seen as an incentive to get the shots that are free.

Otherwise, those who had been in lockdowns during the pandemic will be locked out of near-normal life and be forbidden to enter indoor venues, the government wanting to speed inoculations before the autumn and flu season when viruses spread more easily.

That also means, the paper said, that health care workers who refused to be inoculated will be required to get the shots after the government said it was considering offering them a bonus to do so.

Those who refuse, including staff, will be suspended on put on leave without pay although it wasn't said if they would be terminated, which is almost impossible in Greece because of the strength of unions.

The government also is said to be waiting for research into whether to vaccinate those under 18 as it happening in the United States and whether the next generation of vaccines will be easier to administer, including at clinics and pharmacies instead of at centers requiring medical staff be to present.

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