In Greece, caregivers not vaccinated against Covid have returned to work

Medical staff not vaccinated against Covid-19 resumed work on Monday in Greece, sixteen months after their suspension, announced the Hellenic Federation of Public Hospital Employees (Poedin) in a press release. This return of some 2,000 caregivers to public hospitals and ambulance services follows a decision by the Council of State, the highest administrative court, which forced the government to lift the ban.

The reintegration of these caregivers is “a big breath for the system, but the problem of the lack of personnel remains”, underlined the Poedin. Some 5,000 others, also unvaccinated, had already been able to resume or continue their professional activity because of a medical certificate attesting, for example, that they had already contracted the virus.

“A pandemic of the unvaccinated”

In Greece, vaccination became compulsory for staff in retirement homes in August 2021 and for caregivers two weeks later, giving rise to opposition demonstrations. The anti-vaccination movement has experienced a certain boom in a country which suffered strict confinements in 2020 and 2021, to the point that the Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, had assured, at the end of 2021, that Greece was facing “a pandemic of non- vaccinated”.

Most Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted in Greece, except in health facilities and public transport. But, in the metros, buses or trams, most travelers have no mask, despite the obligation to wear one.

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