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Greece Imposes New Emergency Rules to Contain Covid-19 Spread

Greece Covid
Rapid tests in Monastiraki, central Athens. Credit: Greek Reporter

The new emergency measures designed to protect public health and contain the spread of Covid-19 went into effect in Greece from Monday, September 13.

People that are unvaccinated — whether employees in the public and private sector, school pupils, students, persons over 12 that want to travel by plane, train, intercity bus or ship or visit any indoor area where people gather — must be able to present a certificate of a negative test for Covid-19 taken within the required time limit.

Cost of Covid test borne by individual

The cost of taking the test, which has been capped by law, will be borne by the individual as public testing facilities will from Monday only be able to test people that are either vaccinated against Covid-19 or have symptoms, while there will be an ID check.

The government has placed a cap on the maximum price of both PCR and rapid tests done on the premises of private diagnostic laboratories and clinics, with the former priced at 60 euros (40 euros for analysis and 20 euros for taking a sample) and the latter at 10 euros.

Both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals are obliged to wear a mask indoors and in open spaces where people congregate.

A new digital certificate of a negative rapid test issued by must be submitted once a week by unvaccinated employees in order to come to work. The test is paid for by employees and must be checked by the employer using the covid-free app.

Teaching staff in schools and higher education, those working in tourism, hospitality, television, the film industry, theatrical, musical and dance productions who have not received the shot must be tested twice each week, again at their own cost.

A certificate of vaccination or previous illness with Covid, a PCR test taken 72 hours beforehand or a rapid test taken 48 hours beforehand must be displayed by any person over 12 in order to be admitted to courtrooms, land registry offices or deeds registries. Children between five and 11 must present a statement that they have a negative self-test taken in the previous 24 hours.

The same requirements must be met to use public means of travel by persons over 12, while self-tests must be submitted by children aged four to 11.

Unvaccinated school pupils are obliged to take two self tests a week, supplied without charge by the state, whose results must be uploaded on the site.

Unvaccinated teachers must do two rapid tests a week, at their own cost, and submit the digital certificate for each test for checking with the Covid-free app.

Mandatory requirement of health workers

For healthcare staff, there is mandatory Covid-19 vaccination requirement, with unvaccinated staff suspended from work without pay. For those who contract Covid-19 while suspended, the following rules apply:

The symptomatic employee must do a PCR test in a public testing facility. If the first test was done in a private facility, it must be confirmed within 24 hours by a test in a public health facility with a sample taken on the spot, not supplied in advance, with more than one person present when it is taken.

Patient attendants that are fully vaccinated or have a certificate that they have contracted Covid-19 in the last six months must supply a negative rapid test taken in the last 48 hours to be admitted to a public or private healthcare facility. Unvaccinated patients must do a PCR test 48 hours beforehand.

Cafes, bars, restaurants, tavernas, clubs and other areas of entertainment are only open to those that have certificates of vaccination or previous illness with Covid, which are checked by the Covid-free app. The same applies to sports stadiums.

Archaeological sites, museums, and art galleries can operate as either Covid-free or mixed venues, with unvaccinated patrons required to show evidence of a negative test taken in the last 48 hours (self-test taken in the last 24 hours for minors aged five to 11). Similar measures apply to outdoor venues.

For gyms, unvaccinated patrons must do a PCR or rapid test once a week.

Employers have the right to know whether employees are vaccinated and are required to check the validity of certificates supplied by unvaccinated staff and ensure that the required tests are carried out.

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