January 27, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Restrictions for unvaccinated doctors and nurses returning to work

Doctors and support staff returning to work after being suspended for refusing to be vaccinated against Covid-19 will not be allowed into intensive care units and oncology units, according to proposals from a committee of experts from the Ministry of Health clarified in Parliament on Wednesday.

Both doctors and support staff will return to work as of January 1, 2023 after being suspended without pay due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The committee recommended that support staff, nurses and assistants, perform two rapid tests per week and wear a high-protection mask. The recommendation for doctors was announced by Health Minister Thanos Pleuris in Parliament, pending an official government statement. “The recommendation for physicians and nursing staff is to keep them out of intensive care units and hospitalizations where patients are immunosuppressed, such as oncology wards,” Plevris said.

When MPs asked if they would receive compensation for their lost wages, Plevris replied: “There is no question of payment. As soon as they return, they will be paid.” He explained that the State Council, Greece’s highest administrative court, recognized the suspension measure as constitutional, but rejected its latest extension, until the end of 2022.

As for the monthly fine for citizens over 60 years of age who refused vaccination, the fine will canceled if they got vaccinated after receiving a fine, he said. “This is a really tough measure,” the minister said. “There is not a single minister who likes to impose fines, but in this way vaccination jumped from 55% to 80%. As soon as the fine was announced, 250,000 citizens from this age group decided to go through vaccination*. Therefore, the fine was effective.”

It is worth noting that at least 100,000 citizens over 60 refused to be vaccinated, but the fines were not removed from them. To repeated questions about where the fines from “violators” of the mask regime, vaccination, and also the “curfew” went, the officials did not say.

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