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Greek scientists advising the government on how to handle the pandemic debated for more than eight hours over what measures should be tightened before further restrictions were announced a few hours ago.
In another sign of how difficult the on-off approach to lockdown has become for countries reeling from the economic effects of coronavirus, epidemiologists held their longest session yet before extra curbs were eventually unveiled.
At just over 162,000 coronavirus cases, Greece has fared better than most other European nations.
But the arrival of the “British variant” of the virus and lax rule keeping has helped spur a surge in its case count with diagnoses doubling over the course of the last week alone.
The extent of the lockdown and whether it should include all retail stores – already limited to customers having to pre-book visiting slots to stores – taxed experts most, along with the issue of whether all schools should also re-close.
Ultimately a night time curfew was brought forward to 6 PM (from 9 PM) over the weekend while only super markets, grocery stores, petrol stations and chemists were spared being closed.
Hairdressers and beauty salons are among the stores that can continue to operate but only on weekdays. The measures, which include high schools returning to remote learning, will be enforced until at least February 15th.
On Friday, 1195 infections were confirmed by the public health organisation, EODY, continuing a trend that has seen rates surpass the 1,000 mark since Tuesday. A further 19 fatalities were also announced this evening bringing the death toll to 5922.
The Greek economy contracted by just over 10 percent in 2020 with a second lockdown in November exacerbating the toll on public and private finances that were only starting to recover from the country’s punishing long-running debt crisis.
New Zealand reports fifth Covid case from quarantine hotel
Victoria reports no new Covid cases in past 24 hours
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Coronavirus live news: Greece limits AstraZeneca jab to under 65s; close contacts of Melbourne hotel worker test negative | World news