Tourism workers in Greece are among those that will be obliged to test for the coronavirus once a week, as part of the Greek government’s Covid-19 self-testing scheme expected to begin in April. The announcement was made by Greek Deputy Health Minister Vassilis Kontozamanis during Friday’s Covid-19 media briefing. According to Kontozamanis, Greece’s new self-testing strategy – that will see pharmacies distributing free Covid-19 test kits to citizens – is aimed at detecting asymptomatic Covid-19 carriers in order to better control the spread of the virus.
The deputy minister said that testing will be mandatory for those employed in certain sectors so specific activities in the country can restart safely.
“The gradual restart of economic activity and the re-opening of society is accompanied by the obligation of citizens active in coastal shipping, shipping, retail, businesses, food & beverage sector, tourism, manufacturing and the courts to undergo a weekly coronavirus rapid test,” he said.
Kontozamanis did not release further details on how exactly the mandatory testing will be carried out to workers in those sectors.
He did add that the government intends to legislate mandatory testing for teachers and students. In the case that a person tests positive after taking a self-test, a rapid test must then be taken at a public health facility to confirm the initial result. Greek health authorities on Friday announced 1,496 new coronavirus cases and 53 deaths.
Since the start of the pandemic, the total number of cases in the country has reached 249,458. The Covid-19 death toll in Greece is 7,754.