ATHENS – Anxious to recoup revenues lost during COVID-19 lockdowns that saw the government pour billions of euros into subsidizing laid-off workers and their closed businesses, Greece will allow tourists who have been vaccinations with versions not accepted by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
That came after a meeting of the government's advisory panel of doctors and scientists who make recommendations based on epidemiological data but there was no explanation why vaccines considered dubious would be allowed.
Speaking during a regular briefing of reporters, Vana Papaevangelou said the decision was based on the panel's advice which means that the government will admit tourists with proof of being vaccinated with Novavax, Sinovac Biotech, Sputnik V, Sinopharm and CanSino Biologics.
Papaevangelou also stressed tourists will be able to enter from the land border, and that specifications for hotels and ships will be updated, and tourism workers will have to undergo a weekly self-diagnostic test and complete their vaccinations, said Kathimerini.
While the government said it won't force anyone to be vaccinated nor allow those who refuse to be fired, Papaevangelou warned the doubters their decision could be costly or deadly, with 98 percent of deaths being people who hadn't been vaccinated.