Greece will give more freedom to those who are fully vaccinated by creating “immune-only” venues and spaces, it was announced on Tuesday.
State Minister Giorgos Gerapetritis outlined the government plan for measures in recreational and entertainment industry venues, saying that this new operating model for the market will begin starting on July 15.
Immune-only venues and spaces in Greece will be only for those who have been fully vaccinated or have immunity through having had the virus in the last six months.
Everyone must also have the corresponding certificate to prove their status to gain access to the venues.
The plan also allows for “mixed” venues which also grant access to the unvaccinated — but only if they have a negative a rapid or PCR test for Covid.
The measures can apply to either indoor areas or open spaces that are likely to be crowded.
As the Minister of State pointed out, it is up to business owners to choose the model they prefer and apply the respective conditions.
He noted that the presence and validity of certificates will be checked in the first case, while minimum distancing rules and other protection measures will also apply in the second scenario.
Restaurants, cinemas and theaters in Greece that opt for the immune-only model will be allowed to increase capacity to 85 percent (with the use of masks in theaters and cinemas) while so-called mixed areas are restricted to 50 percent of their normal capacity.
For seating outdoors, immune-only areas will be allowed to reach 85 percent capacity while for mixed areas this will be 75 percent or lower.
Entertainment venues for fully vaccinated on 60 percent capacity
Clubs, and both indoor and outdoor entertainment venues, immune-only venues will be permitted to reach 60 percent capacity, while for mixed venues this will be less than 25 percent. For stadiums, only vaccinated individuals and those with immunity acquired through infection will be admitted; these individuals will also be required to wear a mask.
Gerapetritis also offered assurances that personal data and rights of citizens will be fully respected, while adding that “the need to build immunity and regain our freedoms is unavoidable.”
Οn his part, Development and Investments Minister Adonis Georgiadis said that it was up to each individual to participate in the nationwide effort to persuade those who are hesitating to get vaccinated and reach the number of inoculations needed this Summer to avoid a new wave of the pandemic.
All venues must be declared as either “immune-only” or “mixed” by July 15, on a special online platform, and will have to display a special sign to indicate to which category they belong at the entrance.
“Freedom Pass” for young people
Greece, very keen to speed up the vaccination rollout across the country, announced on Monday that young people aged 18-25 will receive a prepaid card with 150 euros when they get their first shot of a vaccine.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis himself announced the initiative, dubbed the “Freedom Pass,” saying that it represents an award for this age group that has more recently been affected by the coronavirus.
The Freedom Pass will cover costs in travel and entertainment, such as plane and ferry tickets; hotel bookings; music, theatre and cinema events; and fees for museums and archaeological sites.
Main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance accused Mitsotakis of attempting to bribe young people and asked him to stop “dividing the citizens” with “privileges” for the vaccinated.