WORLD Greece extends lockdown measures to January 7

WORLD

Greece extends lockdown measures to January 7

AFP

22:27, December 07, 2020

Greece on Monday extended its coronavirus lockdown measures to January 7, citing the slow impact of restrictive measures announced a month ago.

A man walks past an almost empty square in Athens on December 1, 2020. (File photo: AFP)

The shutdown affects schools, restaurants, clubs, courts and most professional sports. There is also a ban on travel between geographical regions.

Incoming travellers must self-quarantine for 10 days.

"The improvement of epidemiological data and the reduction in the virus burden is slow, slower than expected," government spokesman Stelios Petsas told reporters.

"The return to normality must be done gradually and safely," he said.

An exception to the shutdown restrictions will be made for Christmas decoration shops.

More than 3,000 people have died of the virus in Greece and 600 people are in intensive care.

Over 11,500 people have been infected.

Vaccines are expected in Greece by early January and the government has said more than 2.1 million people will be able to be inoculated per month.

Vaccination will be on a voluntary basis.

Petsas on Monday said the weekly average infection rate was over 1,600 cases compared to over 2,300 a month earlier.

"The national health system is still under pressure," he said.

Petsas noted that public mobility was 20 percent higher than during a previous lockdown in the spring.

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