From today, January 17, citizens and permanent residents of Greece over the age of 60 who have not yet received their COVID vaccines will have to pay monthly fines at a starting price of 50 euros, which will be doubled in February and so on.
The decision comes on the heels of an increase in positive COVID-19 cases observed in the country, as well as a drop in the vaccination rate of 67.1 percent, about 2 percent lower than the average vaccination given to all EU/EEA residents, SchengenVisaInfo. com reports.
Moreover, the hectic vaccination schedule has caused some citizens to feel frustrated.
“I booked an appointment on January 11 in order to receive the vaccination, but the authorities only offered me an appointment on January 31. Why didn’t they give me an appointment earlier? It’s not my fault, but now they say I have to pay a fine. Why?” asked a Greek resident.
In addition to the elderly, expats of the same age are also obligated to follow this rule, which has caused some unrest as some expats struggle to get vaccinated in the country due to the lack of an AMKA social security number. In contrast, many others have had problems getting their vaccines recognized in Greece outside the European Union.
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Furthermore, in the Facebook group Expats in Greece, members shared their concerns about the new rules as one of them said that [authorities] He or she will check the name of the vaccine, the dates it was received, and the batch numbers.
Another pointed out that people must show a vaccination certificate everywhere except for supermarkets and pharmacies.
In addition, medical professionals who were not vaccinated have been suspended and risk being suspended if they do not proceed to get vaccinated.
However, the strict coronavirus rules apply not only to local residents but also to travelers entering Greece as they have to submit to strict rules, especially third-country nationals. The rules went into effect last week and will remain in effect until January 24.
Last week, Greece reported 190,849 cases of COVID-19. According to vaccination rates, about 67.1 percent of the population in Greece has already been fully vaccinated, with 18.3 million doses of vaccine distributed while nearly 22,000 people have died of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.
Moreover, data from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) shows that as of January 17, 77.7 percent of the total adult population in Greece had received the first vaccine, and 38.5 percent had received an additional dose.