Vaccination is becoming mandatory for those over 60, who otherwise face a fine of 100 euros per month, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told his cabinet ministers on Tuesday.
The Greek prime minister said that this is not a punishment but a necessary measure in order to protect a part of the population that is vulnerable to the coronavirus, adding that there are 580,000 citizens over 60 who have not been vaccinated. "Of our 580,000 unvaccinated fellow citizens over the age of 60, unfortunately only 60,000 rushed to be vaccinated in November. And it is mainly those over 60 who are being treated and unfortunately many of them pass away in the process. And as we have said many times, they are unjust deaths", the prime minister noted.
He also noted that those who are over 60 years old have the opportunity to be vaccinated until January 16, with the first installment, otherwise every month an administrative fine of 100 euros will be imposed by the tax office, while this money, will be collected in a special fund which will finance hospitals. "It's not a punishment. I would say it is the price of health. A precautionary motive, a boost of life but I believe it is also an act of justice for the many more who are vaccinated. It is not possible today for some people to be deprived of access to the health system because others stubbornly refuse to do the obvious," stressed Mitsotakis.
Another measure announced by the Prime Minister is the provision of a free self-test per adult from Dec 6 to 12 December and the repetition of this process from Jan 3 to 7, with more announcements on the issue expected from the Health Minister.
"From December 6 to 12, we will provide a free self-test to every adult, vaccinated and non-vaccinated, to identify possible asymptomatic carriers of the virus before Christmas. The exact same exercise will be repeated from January 3 to 7 to monitor the transmission of the pandemic during the holidays. Because it is important that we all check ourselves during those days. The Minister of Health will make detailed announcements tomorrow, while we have secured through the Civil Protection service another 20 million self-tests for our schools," noted Mitsotakis.
“I close by insisting on the nature of our two new initiatives. They are measures of encouragement and not of repression, they are just measures. Because they are not applied to everyone but primarily concern those whom they ultimately intend to protect. They also serve the dual purpose of making the economy and society work in parallel with the protection of public health. And finally, so that they adapt to the situation, so that these holidays are the last ones that we will spend with our thoughts in the pandemic,” he added.