Curfew in top Greek island bars, eateries to limit virus

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Aug 11 2020 10:22 AM | Updated as of Aug 11 2020 12:05 PM

ATHENS, Greece - Greece on Monday announced a night curfew for restaurants and bars in some of its top tourist destinations after coronavirus infections hit a new high.

A government spokeswoman also announced new entry restrictions for Balkan arrivals and passengers flying in from several EU countries.

Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias earlier Monday said the infection curve was "rising dangerously."

Areas in which eateries and bars will be closed from midnight to 07:00 am include the popular islands of Mykonos, Santorini, Corfu, Crete, Rhodes, Zakynthos and Kos, spokeswoman Aristotelia Peloni said in a televised address.

Some of these destinations are known for late-night clubbing.

The cities of Thessaloniki, Larissa, Volos and Katerini were also affected, as was the Halkidiki peninsula which is popular with Balkan visitors.

The restrictions will be in place from Tuesday to August 23, she said.

In addition, all passengers on flights from Belgium, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden arriving from August 17 must provide a negative COVID-19 result obtained up to 72 hours before entry, as must all land border arrivals.

And only 750 people will be allowed in daily from Albania as of August 16, Peloni said.

Greece's public health watchdog on Sunday announced 203 new infections, the highest since the start of the pandemic. A total of 213 people have died from the virus.

Another 126 infections were announced on Monday,

Officials have blamed the increase in cases on overcrowding in clubs and social events.

The civil protection agency last week made masks compulsory in all indoor public areas.

Among other measures announced Monday was the decision to scrap Greece's top trade exhibition, the annual Thessaloniki international fair in September.

The government has ruled out a general lockdown after gradually reopening the economy in May and starting to accept foreign arrivals in June to salvage part of the tourism season which is vital to the economy.

Only 10 percent of cases in Greece can be traced to foreign arrivals.

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