Greece has started to fine unvaccinated people 60 and older after a new mandate went into effect on Monday amid a spike in COVID-19 infections that has put pressure on hospitals.
The fines start at 50 euro ($57 USD) in January and are followed by a monthly fine of 100 euros ($114) thereafter.
The Greek government had announced the latest mandate in late November 2021 and, according to official data, 41.5% of the 530,000 targeted adults have since been fully vaccinated.
About 69% of Greece’s population of nearly 11 million are fully vaccinated compared to the EU average of 70.3%.
Greek Health Minister Thanos Plevris told the Associated Press that fines would be collected through the tax office and that funds would go toward state hospitals.
Starting February 1, vaccination certificates for adults will expire after seven months unless the holder receives a booster shot. The government had already mandated vaccination for health care workers last year.
People with legitimate health exemptions, recent COVID infection and applications for home vaccination appointments that were delayed will be spared the fine, government spokesman Giannis Oikonomou said.
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