COVID19: Unvaccinated ultimatum, Christmas celebrations off

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Unvaccinated people will be given three weeks to get vaccinated or face restrictions, while those who don’t get a booster jab after seven months lose their Safe Pass.

Following a meeting with health experts advising the government on coronavirus, Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantelas said the situation would be continually assessed.

He told reporters that mask-wearing would become obligatory in primary schools, while students will be subjected to weekly tests.

All school Christmas celebrations will be cancelled at schools, municipalities, and public services.

Hadjipantelas said scientists suggested that vaccinated people be allowed to use free self-tests, which they will be able to get from pharmacies.

If a vaccinated person tests positive, they will be sent by their GP to get a PCR test, also for free.

The minister said that scientists have also suggested the Safe Pass is only valid for seven months after the last dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

This essentially would make booster shots compulsory for the general population.

Health authorities are currently offering booster shots to all people over the age of 40 who have completed their vaccination six months earlier.

He added that experts recommend that the government’s free rapid testing program be extended to cover the entire population, not just the vaccinated.

The health minister said that none of the measures should be considered certain until the cabinet approves them on Wednesday.

Talking on behalf of the scientists, the head of the advisory team, Dr Constantinos Tsioutis, said: “We went over our agreements and disagreements.

“The minister now has our suggestions in his hands; the government will decide.”

Sounding the alarm, Tsioutis added that “the next weeks ahead will be difficult. It’s time to make concessions in our daily lives”.