Greece tightens anti-virus measures as it reports post-lockdown record number of cases

Greece introduced on Friday stricter measures to slow down the spread of the novel coronavirus, as it recorded 78 new confirmed cases in the past 24 hours, the biggest daily rise since the end of the lockdown on May 4.

Greece also registered three new COVID-19 deaths in the last 24 hours. The majority of new infections (24 cases) were detected in the greater Athens area and 18 other cases in the Thessaloniki region. Ten of the new cases were confirmed during checks at the country’s gateways.

Nikos Hardalias, deputy minister for Civil Protection and Crisis Management at the Ministry of Citizen Protection, said in a press briefing that face masks will be compulsory in all enclosed public venues as of Saturday including churches.

He also said that the use of a face mask is strongly recommended in crowded outdoor areas.

In addition, authorities imposed a maximum of 100 guests at weddings, while a ban on local festivals has been extended to Aug. 31.

Greek authorities also tightened the rules for bars, beach bars, live-music venues, bar-restaurants, cafes, and clubs where only seated clients will be allowed so as to avoid overcrowding.

The COVID-19 infections have totaled 4,477 with 206 fatalities since the start of the outbreak in Greece on Feb. 26, the National Public Health Organization said. Currently, nine people were being treated in intensive care units.