Greece imposed new restrictions on Monday amid a spike in COVID-19 infections that has put the country’s death rate at nearly double the European Union average.
The Greek government is mandating masks at all workplaces, staggering opening hours in the public and private sector and allowing only people with proof of vaccination or recent recovery from the virus to enter indoor recreation and entertainment areas.
Restricted spaces include indoor areas at bars, restaurants, movie theaters and museums. Authorities also imposed additional capacity limits and entry restrictions for courts and places of worship. The measures will remain in effect at least until December 6.
Greece announced the measures after occupancy in COVID ICU beds surpassed 90 percent, according to the Associated Press.
About a third of the country’s population and a quarter of adults remain unvaccinated as the national death rate reached its highest level in six months.
The stricter restrictions come amid ongoing tensions — in Greece and worldwide — about the extent to which governments should be allowed to impose such measures.
Aris Servetalis, a popular Greek actor who starred in Eugene Ionesco’s 1959 absurdist play “Rhinoceros,” announced on Tuesday that he was stepping down from the role after refusing to perform only for vaccinated audiences. The actor’s move forced the cancellation of the play, which is postponed indefinitely, and drew equal parts criticism and praise.
“I am shocked,” Greek Actors’ Association head Spyros Bibilas told Reuters. “I did not expect an actor to stop a show, ignoring that other people work there too. I find it unacceptable.”
“It was about time someone said NO,” one user commented on Servetalis’ Instagram post. “Ι bow to your ethos and integrity,” another wrote.
Featured image: A shop employee checks customers’ vaccination certificates against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), as the government imposed further measures for unvaccinated citizens, in Athens, Greece, November 22, 2021. REUTERS/Louiza Vradi
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