COVID-19 in Greece: Two-Week Lockdown of the Second Largest City ThessalonikiEU | November 2, 2020, Monday // 17:18| views
Greece has announced a two-week blockade of its second-largest city, Thessaloniki, to try to curb growth in coronavirus cases, AFP reported. Flights to and from Thessaloniki Airport will also be suspended under the measure, which will take effect tomorrow. The measures also affect the northern city of Serres.
"The health situation in Thessaloniki is serious. We must act to avoid overloading the health system," said government spokesman Stelios Pezas.
Everything will be closed except for schools, and those who want to leave their homes will have to seek permission via text message. Recent restrictions included localized blockades in the Kozani and Kastoria regions, also in northern Greece, earlier this month.
"Earlier, the government repeatedly sounded the alarm (about the virus), but some did not listen," said Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias, who visited Thessaloniki on Monday after 1,300 new cases were reported over the weekend.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced new restrictions in Athens and other major cities on Saturday. "The virus is attacking in waves and we need to adapt quickly," he said in a televised address. Greece has registered more than 37,000 coronavirus cases since February, including more than 1,600 on Sunday and a total of 635 deaths.
Mitsotakis said the new measures would close restaurants, cafes, clubs, cinemas, museums and gyms in the worst-hit areas, but would not affect small businesses and schools to soften the blow to the economy. The rest of the country will have to observe evening hours, while the use of masks is mandatory in indoor public spaces, Mitsotakis said.
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