Greece’s Indoor Restaurants, Venues Only for the Vaccinated
Starting Friday, July 16, indoor venues such as restaurants, bars, and theaters will only be accepting vaccinated and seated-only customers until August 31, Development and Investments Minister Adonis Georgiadis said on Tuesday.
Georgiadis’ announcements came a day after Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis ordered the mandatory vaccination of healthcare providers and nursing care workers on Monday in view of a spike in Covid-19 cases and the fast spread of the Delta variant.
Earlier today, Health Minister Vasilis Kikilias warned that unvaccinated health care staff will be suspended without pay when new restrictions take effect. The first dose of the vaccine against Covid for these employees will be available on August 16, he said.
According to the new rules regarding indoor entertainment and recreational spaces which go into effect on July 16:
- only seated customers can be served through to August 31. No form of standing entertainment is allowed
- sports events will be carried out with spectators in vaccinated-only or outdoor areas and with an 80 percent capacity. No more than 25,000 spectators at outdoor venues and 8,000 indoors.
- as of July 16 to August 31, all indoor entertainment and recreational venues will operate only for vaccinated customers at 85 percent capacity
- outdoor business owners can choose if they wish to operate for vaccinated only or as a mixed space
- open-air festivals (panegyria) are allowed as seated-only events and with social distancing and capacity rules
- employers in the private or public sectors have the right to enquire whether an employee is vaccinated
- vaccinated individuals in the armed forces will be entitled to five days leave.
Moreover, Georgiadis said that admission to indoor spaces is allowed with proof of vaccination. He added that only the underaged (under 18 years old) will be allowed in indoor spaces with a negative self-test result.
At the same time, Digital Governance Minister Kyriakos Pierrakakis said that starting today, restaurant and F&B business owners will be able to download an application that will check whether health/vaccination status information provided by customers is valid. The Covid Free GR app will be free and available on app stores for phones and tablets.
He repeated that violations could be subject to fines ranging from 2,000 euros to 10,000 euros and loss of operating license.
In the meantime, the government is meeting with leaders of the Greek Orthodox Church in hopes of securing vaccination campaign support from the clergy.