Unjabbed over-60s will be FINED £85 a month in Greece as the country makes Covid vaccinations compulsory for that age group
- Anyone over the age of 60 without a Covid vaccine will be fined £85 a month
- Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced the new measure today
- A jab mandate for over-60s is yet to be voted on but is expected to be approved
- The move follows Austria imposing a vaccine mandate earlier this month
Anybody in Greece over the age of 60 that refuses to get a Covid jab will be fined £85 a month as the country prepares to launch a vaccine mandate.
Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis today 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.’
The measure is still to be put to a parliamentary vote, he said, but lawmakers are widely expected to approve it.
Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis (pictured) today said that coronavirus vaccines would be compulsory for anyone over the age of 60 – and that those who refuse will be handed £85 fines each month
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 (£85), 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.
The news comes after Austria enforced a Covid vaccine mandate earlier this month in a bid to stem a brutal wave of infections.
Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg and Health Minister Wolfgang Muckstein announced that anyone who is not vaccinated against Covid will be penalised – with Mr Schallenberg saying the punishment would likely be a non-criminal fine, though added the details are still being worked out.
Mr Muckstein said that constitutional lawyers were consulted ahead of the announcement and said it appears the mandate would be legal, though a ‘proper review process’ will take place over the next several months.
Once the review is complete the law will be brought into force, with a deadline of February 1 ‘at the latest’.
The move by Greece comes after Austria announced its own vaccine mandate earlier this month. Pictured: Police officers check the vaccination status of visitors during a patrol on a Christmas market in Vienna on November 19, 2021
Austria currently has one of the highest Covid infection rates in western Europe which has been blamed on its sluggish vaccination drive, with just 66 per cent of people fully jabbed.
That is above the European average of 62 per cent, but well below the 70 per cent theoretically needed for herd immunity.
Austria was not the first country to make vaccines mandatory. Indonesia required all adults to get jabbed back in February, followed by dictatorships Turkmenistan and Tajikistan in July.
Dozens of other countries require specific groups to have jabs. Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate requires workers at any US firm with more than 100 employees to get jabbed, or else test on a weekly basis.
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