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Sports Arenas In Greece Reopening Only for Vaccinated Spectators

greece vaccinated spectators
Greece is allowing vaccinated spectators back into it’s football stadiums. Credit: TodorBozhinov /Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0

Greece is opening sports arenas for vaccinated spectators, according to a Sports Ministry announcement Thursday.

The fine print of the new rules stipulates that games can be enjoyed from up close so long as everyone in the audience wears a mask and unvaccinated youth do not make up more than five percent of the total group.

Greece opens stadiums to vaccinated spectators

The Health Ministry’s national health committee, which has been advising on all government moves since the beginning of the pandemic, showed their support for the reopening of sports arenas.

In addition, the committee strongly recommended that sports organizations and mass media use vaccinated professionals on site, with the rest providing proof of a negative PCR or rapid test before the start of a game.

Adults booking tickets for games online have to show evidence of vaccination, and younger people who have not yet had the opportunity to get vaccinated will need to show a negative coronavirus test result, with both PCR and rapid antigen tests being accepted.

At those stadiums which do not have online platforms, this evidence will need to be presented at the door.

Open-air facilities are allowed to seat up to 80 percent of full capacity, or a maximum of 25,000 people. Indoor or closed facilities can seat a maximum of 60 percent capacity, or a maximum 3,000 people.

The ministry has yet to announce when these measures will be enacted and sports stadiums can actually open, but this information is expected to be released in the coming days.

In addition, a health protocol for the Half-Marathon race of Athens (September 12) was approved, with the provision that only fully vaccinated athletes are allowed to register.

Median age for new coronavirus infections down a decade in a week

On Thursday, Deputy Minister for Civil Protection & Crisis Management Nikos Hardalias spoke to the public about the coronavirus in Greece.

He first noted that people should try to test themselves using self-tests before traveling around the mainland, but reassured viewers that this is not a requirement.

He continued by recapping all standing restrictions for adults travelling to and from Greek islands by ferry or airplane, and reiterated that although children under 12 don’t face travel restrictions, they should be given a self-test upon returning from islands.

Hardalias also provided the latest pandemic alert status for the country’s prefectures, including a notching up to orange for southern Athens neighborhoods.

On the rapid increase in the number of daily cases, which seems to be due to the delta variant of the coronavirus, doctor Vana Papaevangelou said that the new cases are mostly being diagnosed amongst young people.

The median age of those infected is 23 years, Papaevangelou highlighted, which represents a drop of a whole decade within a week. Of all new infections, 75 percent are younger than 34, and the largest single age group is 15-24.

However, a potentially worrying the doctor highlighted is that one in three hospitalizations for Covid-19 relate to people aged 25-55, while one in ten is under 24. This seems to point to young people experiencing harsher forms of the virus than what used to be the case.

Papaevangelou said that 121 cases of the Delta variant have been officially registered in Greece so far, mostly concerning people under 40. Of the total, 13 percent had to be hospitalized, with none of those hospitalized being fully vaccinated, she noted.

Encouragingly, deaths from Covid-19 have dropped by 50 percent in Greece according to official government statistics.

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