News World Greeks escaped lockdown for the beach as winter temperatures soared

Greeks escaped lockdown for the beach as winter temperatures soared

Greeks headed to beaches and public parks on Sunday as a rare January heat wave offered a respite from the coronavirus lockdown that has thrown life across Europe into disarray.

With temperatures in Athens reaching 28 Celsius people lounged on the sand, swam in the sea, and strolled on the promenade on the Athens coast, while police kept patrolling to control the crowds.

In the last 50 years, such high temperatures for January have been seen only twice: in 1987 and 2010, the National Observatory of Athens said.

“It is not normal. This time last year it was cold,” said 65-year old Kyriakos Pitoulis.

“On the other hand, it helps because people are cooped up at home and they want to go somewhere to let off steam. They cannot stay home all the time.”

Greece has been in partial lockdown since early November with people forced to wear masks in public.

On Friday, authorities extended restrictions, including bans on public gatherings until at least Jan. 18 as it strives to slow a spike in infections, mainly in the north.

Following one of the hottest years on record globally last year, hot air masses and dust arriving from the African continent smothered the central Athens skyline, with one temperature gauge on Sunday showing 31C in the sun.

That compared with average January temperatures for January across Greece ranging from below zero to 5 C, or 10 C at the most in coastal regions, the National Meteorological Service (EMY) said.

Meteorologists said the warm front, which came in on Saturday, is expected to recede in the next few days.

Other parts of Europe have been experiencing extreme cold weather.

“The weather is driving us crazy! because we see snow, cold, and disasters in Europe, in Spain, and here we have nice days, we have sunshine,” said sunbather Pavlos Vlachos.

(Reuters)

Top Stories

126 new cases, two deaths announced on Monday

The Health Ministry announced the death of two persons due to COVID-19. This raises the death toll from the virus in Cyprus to 188,...

Where to get antigen rapid tests on Tuesday, 26 January

The Health Ministry announced the following antigen rapid test sites for Tuesday, 26 January 2021:   LIMASSOL Church of Panagia Chrysaifyliotissa, Agia Fyla 08:30-16:30 Church of Panagia Evangelistria,...

Cyprus government aims at gradual lifting of restrictive measures

The Cyprus government aims at the gradual lifting of restrictive measures against the spread of COVID-19 in the context of a concrete plan, with...

Shot flamingo found in Paralimni lake

Birdlife Cyprus announced that a flamingo was found wounded in the Lake of Paralimni. Members managed to save the bird and take it to a...

Epidemiologists agree to include colchicine in treatment protocol

The scientific team of the Health Ministry is ready to include colchicine in the treatment protocol to face COVID-19, Konstantinos Tsioutis, assistant professor of...

Taste

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...

Mezedes

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...