Greek government to distribute two free COVID-19 self test kit

Kyriakos Mitsotakis Ukraine Greeks

The Greek government will provide two COVID-19 self test kits free of charge to all citizens regardless of their vaccination status as part of its efforts to keep people safe during the holiday season, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Tuesday.

"Festive gatherings should not become sources of pain. Our defense is the tests and the basic precautions. So, the message also this year is that the best holidays are the safe holidays," he said during a cabinet meeting, according to Greek national broadcaster ERT.

The Greek state has already provided 80 million free self-tests worth 150 million euros (169 million U. S dollars) since the start of the pandemic, he stated.

Since the emergence of the Omicron coronavirus variant, Greece has also tightened its travel rules. Between December 19 and January 10, all travelers entering the country must provide proof of a negative PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test result not older than 72 hours or a rapid test not older than 24 hours.

"We hoped that the vaccine would bring an end to this adventure and now a new outbreak is coming to delay it. But neither fatigue nor fear must defeat us," he said, urging people to also continue getting their shots.