Greece sees record number of daily COVID infection

FILE PHOTO: A passenger from Germany stands outside the Rhodes International Airport after the lifting of travel restrictions following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, on the island of Rhodes, Greece

Greece has seen record numbers of daily infections several times in recent weeks, but has also been conducting record numbers of tests.

Intensive care units in many parts of the country are at or near capacity, and deaths remain at a high level of more than 70 per day, despite the country being under lockdown-type measures since the fall.

The country has seen a growing backlash against the prolonged restrictions, which have kept restaurants, bars and cafes operating on a delivery or take-away basis only since early November, and shut down schools and retail stores for months.

People are only allowed to leave their homes for certain reasons and must send a text message to authorities or carry a self-declaration form.

This week, authorities allowed retail stores to reopen on an appointment basis, and the final three grades of high school are to reopen for in-person classes on Monday. Students and teachers will have to undergo two coronavirus home tests per week in order to attend. The tests are being provided free of charge from pharmacies, and all others will be entitled to one free test per week.

Greek health authorities have said that variants of the coronavirus, particularly the variant from Britain, now account for about 85% of cases.

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