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Sciences

Vaccine Certificates for Unboosted in Greece Ending, Foreign Shots OK

ATHENS – Residents in Greece who were considered fully vaccinated won’t be as of Feb 7 unless they get a booster COVID-19 shot while foreigners and Greeks who got inoculated in any of 60 other countries part of the European Certificate program can sign up in the Greek National Vaccination Registry.

Vaccines, apart from the single shot Johnson & Johnson version made in the United States, require two shots weeks or months apart but the New Democracy government late in 2021 made a booster a requirement.

But Prime Minister and New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis still hasn’t moved to make shots mandatory for all as the pandemic worsened, as he pledged, and anti-vaxxers are still spreading the Coronavirus.

A vaccination certificate allows greater freedom of movement into public gathering places where the unvaccinated are barred, apart from supermarkets and pharmacies although there’s no report how that’s being enforced.

That means that as of Feb. 8 vaccination certificates for those with two shots will no longer be accepted to get into indoor dining and entertainment places such as bars, restaurants and tavernas and those without one will need a negative rapid or molecular test to enter retail stores except supermarkets.

Unvaccinated health care workers who – apart from those over 60 now – are the only ones required to be vaccinated  – who are on suspension will be fired as of March 1 unless they get their shots, Health Minister Thanos Plevris said.

But despite all those measures to try to beat back the pandemic, the government eased health restrictions as Mitsotakis has focused attention on an economic recovery even with deaths rising at record rates.

Deputy Digital Governance Minister George Georgantas told Parliament that people with certificates from the other countries accepted in the EU profram can register on the Greek platform anagnorisi.emvolio.gov.gr platform (also available in English) to have their certificates recognized.

The platform may also be used by those who have received two doses in Greece and a booster shot abroad, said Kathimerini in a report, adding that those with two shots abroad who want a booster in Greece can also register.

People who have been vaccinated in a country other than the 60 included in the European certification program can apply for recognition of any valid vaccination certificates they have at any Citizens’ Service Center (KEP).

Those over 60 who aren’t vaccinated were fined 50 euros ($56) in January when the edict begin in mid-month but that has doubled to 100 euros ($113) for every month they remain without shots.

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