From January 16 2022, residents in Greece over the age of 60 will be fined €100 a month if they remain unvaccinated against the coronavirus.
The measure was announced in response to a surge in cases and the emergence of the Omicron variant.
According to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in a televised announcement said the charge will be added to their tax bills.
Greece’s death toll exceeded 18,000 this week with confirmed infections at record levels, as roughly a quarter of the country’s adult population remains unvaccinated.
Vaccine mandates were introduced over the summer for health care workers and fire service rescuers, with those failing to comply being suspended from their jobs indefinitely without pay.
The government has ruled out imposing new lockdowns but says it is targeting the elderly with tougher restrictions to protect the public health service as ICU occupancy is near capacity nationwide.
“The new Omicron variant is a concern for us and means we must be vigilant,” Mitsotakis said.
“Unfortunately, of the 580,000 unvaccinated of our fellow citizens over the age of 60, only 60,000 set up appointments to get vaccinated in November,” he said. “But it is mainly people over 60 who require hospital treatment and sadly lose their life. These deaths are unnecessary.”