Travel: Double jab rules will be 'boost for economy' says expert
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Travel is on the cards again for people living in the UK, who can now visit countries included on the Government’s green list. The list is one of three, each with varying restrictions depending on how a country performs against three metrics. Greece is on the amber travel list, but an unexpected jump in Covid cases may damage its position.
Over the last few weeks, Covid infections on the Greek islands have dwindled.
And much like the UK, the country’s officials had resolved to shed most restrictions.
They didn’t expect the latest jump in infections, which happened overnight.
On Tuesday, Greek public health authorities reported 1,797 new Covid cases, up by more than half from the 801 on Monday.
Deaths haven’t surged with them, as eight people died, matching the present seven-day average.
In total, Covid has infected 429,144 Greeks and killed another 12,754.
But while the surge of cases has persuaded the UK Government to forge ahead with a trimmed-back lockdown, it has had the opposite impact in Greece.
Officials are now considering reimposing some Covid measures.
They recently repealed restrictions on travel and entertainment to kickstart their tourism-based economy.
However, younger Greeks using their newfound mobility have borne the latest infections.
The government’s solution is to reimpose some of its previous capacity limits on nightclubs, restaurants and bars.
Nikos Hardalias, Greek Deputy Citizen’s Protection Minister, said new rules would come into effect tomorrow.
Greeks will now need to comply with “legislated capacity rules”, he said, with hospitality to become seated only.
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Anyone who breaches these rules could court significant fines or face having their operations suspended.
Mr Hardalias added the “emergency measures” would “contain” the virus in younger populations.
People could then look forward to enjoying “a freer but, most important, a safe summer”.
Earlier this week, Greece employed a similar crackdown on unvaccinated people.
Prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said while he couldn’t “make vaccination mandatory”, he said his government would not “shut down” again for the few people refusing their doses.
People travelling to the islands will need a vaccination certificate, negative PCR test and rapid test before a holiday.
Hospitality venues will need to display signs showing whether they accept unvaccinated patrons.
Accepting unvaccinated people will cut legal occupancy to 50 percent, while Covid-free locations can welcome 85 percent of their total capacity.
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