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Greece continues to see surge in virus cases

Greece continues to see surge in virus cases
Parliament has voted in favor of amendment for mandatory COVID-19 vaccination to other sectors

By Magda Panoutsopoulou

ATHENS (AA) - Greece during the last week did not permit around 4,500 passengers to board on ferries as they did not hold the necessary COVID documents, the shipping and island policy minister said on Friday during a visit to the Piraeus Port.

"The efforts for safe trips with ferries continue and will continue," Yiannis Plakiotakis said.

On Thursday, the parliament voted in favor of giving health authorities the greenlight to extend mandatory vaccinations to several sectors if necessary.

The amendment will allow the country to specify the sectors and the kind of measures related to obligatory vaccination for COVID-19, Deputy Health Minister Vassilis Kontozamanis told the parliament on Thursday.

Earlier this month, the government made vaccination mandatory for all health care workers as well as nursing home staff, following weeks of surges in new infections.

Greece has seen rises in new COVID-19 infections ranging from 2,000 cases to almost 3,500 cases daily for several weeks, prompting authorities for more steps towards immediate vaccinations amidst its tourist season.

Last week, Mykonos, a popular Aegean tourist destination, was placed on a curfew until July 26 after infections saw a steep rise, while music was banned in bars and restaurants.

The country relies heavily on its tourism sector which accounts for almost one-fifth of its GDP, and last year was not a prosperous one for the Mediterranean country.

Just 7 million tourists visited the country in 2020, while revenues dropped significantly to €4 billion ($4.7 billion) compared to €18 billion in revenues during the 2019 tourist season as 33 million tourists visited Greece.

On Friday, Greece registered 2,854 new coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours, the National Public Health Organization said.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Greece has confirmed 471,894 infections.

Also, seven additional deaths were recorded in the past day, bringing the country's total COVID-19 fatalities to 12,882.

source: News Feed
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