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Greece Requires Churchgoers to Prove Vaccination Status or Take COVID Test to Attend Church

(AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
(AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

Greece is now requiring churchgoers to provide proof of vaccination, a negative COVID test, or proof of natural immunity to attend services after a recent uptick in COVID-19 cases. 

The rule, which took effect Sunday, is part of a wider range of restrictions that includes barring unvaccinated individuals from indoor spaces including restaurants, cinemas, museums, and gyms, even if they test negative for the coronavirus.

According to Politico EU, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said his plan was for the country "to have a better Christmas this year than last year" and urged Greeks to "vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate."

The number of daily infections hit record-high numbers in November despite the country's 62 percent vaccination rate. 

"This is indeed a pandemic of the unvaccinated," he said. "Greece is mourning unnecessary losses because it simply does not have the vaccination rates of other European countries."

Despite the push to enforce tighter restrictions, The Holy Synod said in a statement it cannot enforce compliance. 

"​People who work or volunteer ​in ​the Holy Churches have neither the capability nor ​the ​power​ of a public good as the police do,"​ it read. 

"The firm position of our Church is that the choice of vaccination is not a matter of good faith or confession, but an object of medical science and an act of individual and social responsibility," it continued. "Any opposing view, even of the clergy, does not represent the Church of Greece, which is officially governed and expressed only by the Holy Synod."


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