Wed, 30 Sep 2020

ATHENS, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- The Greek government announced on Monday a series of new emergency measures to stem the spread of the COVID-19, as the number of new infections soars in the country.

Alternate government spokesperson Aristotelia Peloni made the announcement at a press briefing.

The 85th Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF), Greece's largest annual trade fair held in the northern port city and scheduled for Sept. 5-13, is canceled.

Meanwhile, bars will have to close by midnight in several regions and islands, including Mykonos, Paros, Santorini, Rhodes, Kos, and Zakynthos. All events that require the audience to stand -- including concerts and performances -- are suspended.

More restrictions were announced regarding travelers to Greece.

Greece has decided to require a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours for travelers coming from Belgium, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Spain, and Sweden as of Aug. 17.

The same is issued for those who enter Greece through the land border crossing. This includes Greek citizens and those with Greek residence permits. The test must have been carried out in the country of origin, not Greece.

As of Aug. 16, a maximum of 750 people will be allowed to enter the country per day through the Kakavia land border with Albania.

Earlier, Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias called on the young people and those who do not follow the rules of social distancing and hygiene to consider their health towards the vulnerable groups.

"Unfortunately, the transmission of the virus is increasing dangerously," the Athens Macedonian News Agency quoted Kikilias as saying.

Health authorities announced on Monday 126 new confirmed COVID-19 cases within the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 5,749 in the country since Feb. 26 when the first case was registered.

This came a day after the National Organization of Public Health (EODY) confirmed 203 new cases, the biggest daily rise since the end of the lockdown on May 4.

The nationwide death toll has increased to 213, while 24 patients are currently being treated in intensive care units.

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