Greece Launches New COVID-19 Initiatives to Save Summer Season
In an effort to expand coronavirus vaccine coverage in Greece as a recent surge in infections throughout the country appears to be threatening the summer season for the second year running, Greece rolled out two new initiatives on Tuesday.
An online platform was launched which allows young adults and teenagers from the age of 18 to 25 to submit their applications to vaccinate against COVID-19 and in return receive a prepaid card with 150 euros of credit which they can use for travel, accommodation, music events, cinemas and visits to archeological sites.
At the same time, a home vaccination program began on Tuesday for more elderly patients who are unable to attend vaccination centres. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine, which requires just one dose, will be used for the home vaccinations.
Tourism accounts for a fifth of the Greek economy and the country was hoping for a recovery this summer after a historic low number of visitors and revenue due to the pandemic in 2020.
But although the country officially opened up to tourism with an easing of restrictions on May 15, new restrictions have been introduced across the country after a rise in the number of infections in recent weeks.
Only vaccinated customers have been allowed indoors at cafes, bars, restaurants and clubs from July 15.
On the entertainment-focused island of Mykonos, parties have been banned until at least July 26.
Following a recent surge in COVID-19 cases on the popular Greek island, known for attracting the super-rich, celebrities and top athletes from arround the world, the Ministry of Civil Protection said it was banning music in Mykonos's cafes, restaurants, clubs and beach clubs throughout the day, and restricting movement between 1am and 6am.