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Retail sector: Restrictions for unvaccinated will harm stores ahead of holidays

Retail store and trade representatives said the government’s announcement on Tuesday to require rapid tests from unvaccinated citizens in order to enter stores is impractical and adds more of a burden to the sector.

“From the start of the pandemic, the retail sector has met economic and health challenges very seriously, observing closely all health protocols,” Athens Trade Association president Stavros Kafounis said.

“We have also agreed that the sector never served as a hub of spreading Covid-19, and nobody has cast doubt on the safe environment within stores. Therefore, the demand that employees check customers at the stores is impractical and will unfortunately prove detrimental to the economic environment, during a time when optimism is returning to the market,” he said.

Adding his concern after the measures were announced was president of the Greek Confederation of Trade and Entrepreneurship Giorgos Karanikas, who said the measures came as the market entered the holiday season.

“For more than 1.5 years, the trade world is doing whatever possible to contribute to the control of the pandemic. It shouldered painful lockdowns with zero returns for a long time, expecting a return to ‘normalcy’ that is constantly being postponed,” he said.

Having to show a rapid test result to enter the stores will stop people from going, Karanikas warned, while “the use of supermarkets and open markets to everyone – vaccinated or not – without any control and restrictions creates a direct issue of unfair competition against retailers.”

In addition, he said, the measure “raises valid questions about the effectiveness of containing the pandemic.” [amna]

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  1. It will put pressure on people to get the vaccine and therefore will not harm business in commercial stores.

  2. It will be even more harmful to business if people get sick and die.

  3. As I live on an island I try to support local businesses and commerces. With this measure in place I am being coerced into buying online from large retail outlets who will profit at their expense. It is time the government accept that there will always be a percentage, for whatever their personal reasons, who will refuse the vaccine no matter how much pressure they put on people. Personally, the more they try to coerce us and ‘ protect’ us, the more I am inclined to resist, so their tactic is really having the opposite effect than hoped for.

    • This goes for me too. I don’t believe it will coerce any of the people who have made the decision not to take this ‘vaccine’ it will just make them shop elsewhere.

  4. This country need to get things together. This Will not make any diffrence. It Will only harm the economy, that is alredy in the buttom and make people feel anger. Now that when evorybody has had the change to get vaccinated, we shoulden go on with more restriktions. Is this a fred country or not? Vaccinated or unvaccinated, we should respekt eachother.