Greece to shut most restaurants, bar in country for a month

A woman stands outside a closed restaurant, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Thessaloniki, Greece

Greece will expand a night-time curfew on movement and shut restaurants and bars in the country’s most populous areas for one month to contain a resurgence in COVID-19 cases, the prime minister said on Saturday.

The country has reported fewer cases of the novel coronavirus than most in Europe but has seen a gradual increase in infections since early October.

Restaurants, bars, coffee houses, cinemas, museums, and closed gyms will be shut from this coming Tuesday, Nov. 3, for one month across northern Greece and the Attica region, including Athens.

A curfew on night-time movement, until now applicable to the hardest-hit areas, would be expanded across the country from midnight to 5.00 am.

“These new rules.. are focussed on two sources which are, verifiably, conducive to the spread of the virus; entertainment and the movement of people,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in a public address.

Retail businesses, industry, and schools will remain open, along with service industries like hotels and hairdressing salons.

Authorities have repeatedly expressed aversion to a broad lockdown like that seen from mid-March to early May to fight a pandemic that impacted economic activity.

However, the regional lockdowns affect the country’s most populous regions; Attica has a population of 3.9 million and the northern areas about 1.5 million.

Greece registered a new peak of 1,690 new COVID-19 cases on Friday and five deaths bringing the number of victims since the onset of the virus in late February to 620. There were 1,211 new cases reported on Thursday.

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