Greece to make COVID jabs compulsory for elderly

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Nov 30 2021 07:47 PM

Greece's Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis Tuesday said coronavirus vaccines would be compulsory for over 60s, as he faces mounting calls for more restrictions to stem the spread of Covid-19.

"Greeks over the age of 60... must book their appointment for a first jab by January 16," the premier said in a statement to the cabinet.

"Their vaccination is henceforth compulsory," he added.

The measure is still to be put to a parliamentary vote, he said, but lawmakers are widely expected to approve it.

More than 500,000 Greeks aged over 60 were still refusing to be vaccinated, Mitsotakis said.

Those still refusing to do so will face a monthly fine of 100 euros ($113), he added.

"This is protection, not punishment," Mitsotakis said.

Vaccinations, tests and social distancing "are the answer, not a lockdown".

The government has resisted calls from health experts for additional safeguards and mobility restrictions, even among the vaccinated, ahead of the Christmas holiday season.

The virus has claimed over 18,000 lives in Greece, with the death rate sharply increasing in November.

More than 650 people are in intensive care nationwide.