Greece has announced a night curfew for restaurants and bars in some of its top tourist destinations after new coronavirus infections hit a new high.
A government spokeswoman also announced new entry restrictions for Balkan arrivals and flight passengers from several EU countries on Monday.
Greece has become a top holiday destination among British sunseekers after the UK government changed travel advice required people who return from Spain to England to quarantine for two weeks.
The country has recorded a total of 5,623 coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic, and 212 deaths.
Greece has announced a night curfew for restaurants and bars in some of its top tourist destinations after new coronavirus infections hit a new high. Above, tourists and locals gather at a beach in Athens amid the coronavirus pandemic
Eateries in certain areas will be closed from midnight to 7am. Above, a waiter with a mask serves customers in Athens
The government also moved to suspend public gatherings, including shows and concerts, where audiences are not seated. Above, an usherette wearing a face shield directs people arriving to the Herodus Atticus ancient theatre at the foot of the Acropolis
Areas in which eateries and bars will be closed from midnight to 7am include the popular islands of Mykonos, Santorini, Corfu, Rhodes and Crete, spokeswoman Aristotelia Peloni said in a televised address.
The restriction will be in place from Tuesday to August 23, she said.
In addition, all passengers on flights from Belgium, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden arriving from August 17 must provide a negative COVID-19 result.
Proof of negative tests will also be required for anyone entering the country by land, including Greek citizens and permanent residents.
Tightening controls after a recent spike in Covid-19 infections, the government said the requirement will go into effect from August 17.
The required test cannot be older than 72 hours prior to entry.
Greek officials are tightening controls after a recent spike in Covid-19 cases. Above, passengers wearing face masks wait to board a ship bound to Greek Saronic islands at the port of Piraeus, near Athens
Staff members wear face coverings as they serve customers at a bar in Athens amid the coronavirus pandemic
And only 750 people will be allowed in daily from Albania as of August 16, Peloni said.
On Sunday Greece reported its highest daily tally of coronavirus infections, 203 cases, since the start of the outbreak.
The brought the total number of infections in the country to 5,623 since its first infection surfaced in late February. Greece has recorded a total of 212 deaths since the pandemic began.
The government also moved to suspend public gatherings, including shows and concerts, where audiences are not seated.
The announcement comes as it emerged British holidaymakers are gambling on Greece instead of Spain despite an increase in coronavirus cases in the country – as fears grow of a second spike in France.
Brits desperate for a foreign break have set their sights on destinations in Greece, such as Crete, Corfu and Santorini, as reported by The Sunday Telegraph.
Previously the most sought after destinations on Skyscanner, a flight booking website, were Ibiza, Barcelona and Malaga, but they have now dropped out of the top 10, after the UK government changed travel advice required people who return from Spain to England to quarantine for two weeks.
It comes as Spanish police have broken up a ‘coronavirus party’ where guests were allegedly trying to spread the disease on purpose – as the country suffers a sharp rebound in cases with infections rising across Europe.
Rising cases: Spain has suffered a severe spike in coronavirus cases in recent weeks, as this graph shows, while France, Germany and Italy have also seen upticks in new infections
A Spanish Civil Guard officer watches on as youngsters dismantle their tents on a closed Tenerife beach where guests are alleged to have attended a ‘get-together to spread Covid-19
More than 60 people were found camping on an out-of-bounds Tenerife beach in what police called a ‘get-together on the beach to spread Covid-19’, apparently in the hope of developing immunity.
Civil Guard officers swooped to shut down the gathering with youngsters forced to dismantle their tents, but officials say the party was a ‘very serious threat’ after Spain suffered more than 25,000 new cases in the last week.
Spain has already been hit with new travel restrictions in a blow to its tourism-reliant economy, while there are fears that France, Germany or Holland could be put back on the UK’s quarantine list after spikes in cases there.
Summer holidays have been blamed for rising cases in Germany and Italy, while France has tightened its face mask rules in tourist hotspots such as Paris and the Mediterranean resort of Saint Tropez.
However, Europe has yet to see a major spike in deaths or hospital cases, amid signs that many of those testing positive are young and less vulnerable to the disease.
Which areas of Greece are introducing the curfew?
Eateries and bars will be closed from midnight to 7am on the islands of:
In addition to:
Above, a beach bar at Chalkidiki in Greece