News World Greece on a nationwide lockdown as of Saturday

Greece on a nationwide lockdown as of Saturday

Greece has ordered a nationwide lockdown for three weeks as of Saturday, to help contain a resurgence of COVID-19 after a sharp increase in infections this week. It is the country’s second this year.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said he was forced to act after a spike in cases in the past five days, saying that without a lockdown pressure on the healthcare system would be “unbearable”.

“I’ve chosen to take drastic measures sooner rather than later,” said Mitsotakis, who had previously said a nationwide lockdown was a last option.

Officials said that in the past week alone, there was a 20% increase in confirmed infections. From next Monday, people arriving by air will require proof of a negative coronavirus test, taken within 48 hours of travel.

Under the new countrywide restrictions, to take effect from Saturday, retail businesses will be shut with the exception of supermarkets and pharmacies. Greeks will need a permit to venture outdoors at allocated times.

Primary schools will stay open, but high schools will shut.

Greece registered 2,917 new infections on Thursday, its highest daily tally since the outbreak started in February. It had reported 2,646 infections on Wednesday, with infections hitting four-digits daily only in the past eight days.

So far, 702 people have died of COVID-19, 29 of them – a new high – on Thursday.

Thursday’s announcement prompted a scramble by many to book pre-lockdown hairdresser and barber appointments. “Its been absolutely crazy, we haven’t stopped to catch our breath,” one barber in central Athens told Reuters.

Authorities later announced they would make an exception for hairdressers, allowing them to work two extra days until Monday to meet demand.

The main opposition, the leftist Syriza party, has criticized the government for failing to bolster the health system.

“The government has undermined the magnitude of this crisis,” said Alexis Haritsis, Syriza MP and former interior and deputy finance minister.

Greece, which lost a quarter of its national output during a decades-long financial crisis, expects to see its economy shrink by 8.2% this year.


Top Stories

Health Minister announces new measures

During a news conference, Health Minister Konstantinos Ioannou announced the new restrictive measures aiming to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. These measures will...

6.5-million-euro-deal for school in Paphos

APS, on behalf of the Hellenic Bank reached an agreement with a consortium of Cypriot and foreign investors for the sale of school facilities...

59 COVID-19 patients being treated at Famagusta General Hospital

59 people positive to COVID-19 are currently being treated at the Famagusta General Hospital which operates as reference establishment, including three in the Increased...

Minor girls married to adults in Cyprus

The police are investigating cases of minors’ sexual abuse in violation of Law N° 91(I) of 2014 on Preventing and Combating the Sexual Abuse...

New online program to simplify procedures for gyms

Through a new digital system, the Cyprus Sports Organization will exercise strict control on all gyms both regarding applications, inspections and all necessary procedures. At...


Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...


No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...