Greece will be the first country in the EU to target a specific age group. Photo: AFP
Greece is to make Covid vaccinations mandatory for people aged 60 and over.
Fines of €100 will be imposed at monthly intervals from mid-January on those who refuse, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said.
The money will go towards the Greek health system, which is struggling with a surge in hospital admissions.
About 63% of Greece's 11-million population is fully vaccinated, but data show more than 520,000 people over 60 are yet to get the jab.
"Greeks over the age of 60... must book their appointment for a first jab by January 16," the premier said in a statement to the cabinet.
"Their vaccination is henceforth compulsory."
The measure is still to be put to a parliamentary vote, he said, but lawmakers are widely expected to approve it.
While countries have made vaccines mandatory for health workers and other high-risk workers, Greece will become the first in the EU to target a specific age group.
Austria has announced that compulsory Covid vaccinations will start in February.
Syriza, Greece's main opposition party, called the new measures punitive and financially excessive.
Mr Mitsotakis said the decision had "tortured" him but he felt a "heavy responsibility in standing next to those most vulnerable, even if it might fleetingly displease them".
The virus has claimed more than 18,000 lives in Greece.
According to a draft law developed by the Austrian government, compulsory vaccination against coronavirus will apply to all people living in Austria from February 2022. The penalty for refusing vaccination will be 3,600 euros or four months in prison. Those who ignore two notifications from the authorities about the need for vaccination will face a huge fine of 7,200 euros.
Exceptions will include people who are at risk for life and health due to vaccination, pregnant women and children under 12 years of age. The bill is due to be submitted to parliament around 6 December, after which it must be approved by the two chambers of the Austrian parliament.
Austria has implemented lockdown measures for all those age 12 and older who are not fully vaccinated against Covid-19 from November 15.
The unvaccinated are ordered to stay home except for a few limited reasons; the rules are policed by officers carrying out spot checks on those who are out.
Several states and cities have required the public to show Covid passes, which have an individual’s vaccination status or if they’ve just recovered from the virus in order to access bars, restaurants and other public venues like movie theaters or museums.
The French government has announced that unvaccinated arrivals from a number of European countries must now have a negative PCR test within 24 hours of their departure.
From December 15, travellers who are 65 and over and have been fully vaccinated for more than six months and five weeks will need to demonstrate that they have received an approved Covid-19 booster injection.