Greece tightens measures, all new arrivals will be quarantined

Up to date, the government has shut down schools, bars, restaurants, shopping centers, cinemas and theatres. [EPA/ YANNIS KOLESIDIS]

The Greek government has decided to shut down commercial stores in addition to schools, cinemas, bars and restaurants, in response to the escalating coronavirus outbreak. It has also announced that people who enter the Greek territory will be put in a 14-day quarantine.

“As Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has repeatedly pointed out, the difficult times are still ahead of us, next month will be very tough, seriousness, accountability and restraint will be needed,” Greek government spokeswoman Aristotelia Peloni said on Monday (16 March).

The new extraordinary measures come after there have been 331 coronavirus cases and four deaths. The authorities expect this number to grow dramatically in the next month and urges citizens on a daily basis to strictly comply with the measures as well as faithfully follow the advice of experts.

>>Read more about coronavirus in Greece here

Up to date, the government has shut down schools, bars, restaurants, shopping centers, cinemas and theatres.

Today it also decided to close all commercial stores as of Wednesday (18 March) and leave open only supermarkets and pharmacies. Moreover, the authorities said a 14-day home restriction will be mandatory for those who enter the country.

According to Peloni, banks and gas stations will remain open for now, while those who breach the rules may be fined up to €5,000.

Meanwhile, two villages in the region of Kozani in northern Greece have been put in absolute quarantine as many residents have mild symptoms of coronavirus.

Police forces will be deployed around the villages and only cargo trucks will be allowed in, on certain conditions.

The contamination site is thought to be a coffee shop where a memorial recently took place.

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[Edited by Zoran Radosavljevic]

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