Greece pressures vaccine skeptics as infections surge

Tourists watch the changing of the Presidential guards ceremony outside the Greek parliament in central Athens, on Monday, July 12, 2021. Just over 40% of residents have been fully vaccinated but appointments to start the vaccine process have been falling in recent weeks _ prompting the Greek government to increase the pressure on vaccine skeptics. 
(AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

Health care workers in Greece will be suspended if they refuse to get vaccinated under a new mandatory policy announced Monday by the country’s prime minister.

Staff at nursing homes will be suspended starting Aug. 16 if they fail to book a vaccination appointment, with a similar policy to follow in September for workers at state-run and private hospitals.

Starting Friday, and until the end of August, all indoor commercial areas, including bars, cinemas, and theaters, will only be available for the vaccinated.

“After a year and a half, no one can claim ignorance about the coronavirus anymore,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in a televised address. “The country will not shut down again due to attitude adopted by certain people ... It’s not Greece that’s a danger, but unvaccinated Greeks.”