NEWS

Record coronavirus cases bring overnight curfews, mandatory mask use

record-coronavirus-cases-bring-overnight-curfews-mandatory-mask-use

Greece introduced mandatory wearing of masks everywhere Saturday, as the country keeps breaking records for new daily cases of the coronavirus.

Health authorities announced a record 935 new cases Saturday, along with 5 deaths.

The total number of confirmed cases since the beginning of the pandemic is 29,992, with 564 deaths.

Additional measures, announced on Thursday during a televised address to the nation by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, will see overnight curfews coming into effect on Saturday in the country's high alert areas, from half past midnight to 5 a.m., while wearing face masks will now be mandatory both indoors and outdoors and in all public services and private companies.

The curfew measure exempts night-shift workers, journalists and emergency incidents, but these workers must be able to provide an employer's permit, or an Ergani platform certificate if freelancing.

Since Saturday morning, police patrol cars in Athens have been broadcasting the folowing message, in Greek, English and Arabic:

“We remind you that the use of face masks is obligatory in all outdoor spaces. Night-time curfew is now in place. People are not allowed to be outdoors between twelve-thirty midnight and five o'clock in the morning. Please protect public health; avoid crowding. We follow the instructions, we stay safe.”

Speaking on Friday's televised briefing on the pandemic's progress in Greece, Deputy Minister for Civil Protection Nikos Hardalias said, that as of Monday, the alertness level would change in 24 of 74 prefectures in Greece: 13 showed improvement while 11 showed worsening.

However, only two prefectures of Greece, Kastoria and Kozani, will be at the highest coronavirus alert level 4 as of Monday, he noted, while most prefectures (58) are still classified as Level 1 or 2. 

[ANA-MPA/AP]