Key Workers Told to Get Vaccinated in Some South-East Europe States

As in Greece, vaccination has been mandatory in the healthcare sector in Hungary from September 15.

One healthcare worker appealed to Hungary’s Constitutional Court on September 10, arguing that dismissal has serious consequences and is completely disproportionate to the aim of curbing the pandemic. The Constitutional Court has not delivered a ruling yet.

According to Népszava newspaper, which is critical of the government, several hundred workers are going to leave the healthcare sector because of the mandatory vaccination order, but this will not jeopardise the overall operation of the system.

Albania made the vaccination of students, teachers, professors and healthcare workers mandatory in late August, defining them as ‘at-risk’.

Deputy Health Minister Eugena Tomini has said that vaccination will also be made mandatory for other groups such as people who work in the public administration, police officers and pharmacists.

On Monday, the school year started for elementary and high school pupils and Health Minister Ogerta Manastirliu said that teachers who are not vaccinated must get regular COVID-19 tests.

“Teachers who have not yet completed the vaccination process will have to submit a test to school institutions and confirm that they are not affected by COVID-19, and this request will be a weekly request,” Manastirliu said.

In Kosovo, proof of vaccination or COVID-19 antibodies or a negative PCR test are required to enter all workplaces, including schools, universities, hospitals, offices, shops and factories. The same proof is required to access student accommodation, and to enter cafes, restaurants and shopping malls.

Turkey, North Macedonia: restrictions on unvaccinated citizens

In Turkey and North Macedonia, there are no mandatory vaccination policies, but both governments have imposed restrictions on people who have not been jabbed.

In Turkey, people who are not vaccinated and have not had the virus must show negative PCR test results if they want to travel between cities or go to cinemas or concerts.

University students and lecturers, as well as teachers at all school levels who are not vaccinated, must also take a PCR test twice a week. Employers have also been given the right to ask for a PCR test from their employees once a week.

In North Macedonia, the only nationwide measure that the government has introduced to indirectly convince people to get vaccinated is a ban on entering cafes and restaurants, as well as shopping malls and other indoor retail establishments, without a vaccination certificate or a document that shows that they have already had the virus and recovered.

Those without such proof are not even allowed to sit in outdoor seating areas at cafes, bars and restaurants.