ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece’s government has unveiled a plan to provide greater access to certain venues for people who have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, as part of efforts to speed up the country’s vaccination drive during the summer.
The announcements Tuesday come a day after Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said that young people aged 18-25 who receive their first vaccine shot will be eligible for a digital wallet with 150 euros ($180) of credit to spend on entertainment and travel.
The government announced that entertainment venues will be open on a two-tier system that will determine how full they can be.
Venue operators can choose whether to open only to those who are fully vaccinated or who have recently recovered from COVID-19, or whether to also allow in the unvaccinated if they have proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test.
Venues open only to the vaccinated will be able to allow in more people and in some cases to let in people without masks.
As of July 15, indoor restaurants, cafes, theaters and cinemas will be able to operate at 85% capacity if they are open only to the vaccinated and recently recovered, but at 50% capacity if they also allow in non-vaccinated people, who must produce proof of a negative coronavirus test. Masks will remain mandatory in indoor theaters and cinemas for all.
Clubs and music venues will be allowed to operate at 60% capacity if they are exclusively open to the vaccinated and recently recovered, but only at 25% capacity if they also allow in the non-vaccinated.
Government officials have said they are examining legal options to make vaccination compulsory for some employment categories, including nursing home staff.
Greece is currently carrying out about 100,000 vaccinations daily, and everyone aged 18 and over can book an appointment for a vaccine if they want one. But reluctance among certain age groups has been a major concern for health officials as infections of the highly contagious delta variant continue to rise across Europe.
Around 35% of the total population, or 42% of the adult population, will have completed their vaccination by the end of June, government officials said on Monday Those numbers are predicted to increase to 48% and 57%, respectively, by the end of July.
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