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3 Nov, 2020 16:02

Severe Covid-19 local lockdowns for Greece, residents required to text authorities before leaving home

Severe Covid-19 local lockdowns for Greece, residents required to text authorities before leaving home

Greece has imposed severe lockdowns in the city of Thessaloniki and province of Serres, starting from 6am local time on Tuesday, in a bid to curb a second wave of Covid-19 infections.

Non-essential flights to Thessaloniki, the Mediterranean country's second-largest city, have been suspended, with residents there only permitted to leave their homes for specific reasons and obliged to notify authorities first via text message. 

The government is also expanding night-time curfews both in the newly locked-down areas and some of the other most populous parts of the country, while bars, restaurants, museums, and theaters are being shut for a month.

Also on rt.com Greece imposes 2-week lockdown in northern regions as flights are suspended

Swathes of northern Greece are now classed as "increased risk" for coronavirus transmission under a new tier system outlining a range of restrictions. 

The tough new measures come after coronavirus prevalence slowly rose throughout the country during October, despite Greece faring well compared to the rest of Europe after Athens brought in a swift national lockdown early on. 

Athens has also shut its restaurants, bars, cafes, gyms, and museums, although individual outdoor sports are allowed to continue. However, the Greek capital is poised for a stricter lockdown, like those introduced in Thessaloniki and Serres, depending on the rate of infection.

"We are preparing for the worst-case scenario," said government spokesman Stelios Petsas, "We are taking these measures early so that we can have a more optimistic December."

On Monday Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias visited Thessaloniki, where some 1,300 new cases were registered at the weekend. "The government rang a lot of alarm bells early, but some did not listen," he added.

Greece has registered 42,080 Covid-19 infections and 642 deaths since February.

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