Greeks to spend Christmas in lockdown after restrictions extended until January 7

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Greece on Monday extended its lockdown measures until January 7 to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

In a televised briefing, government spokesman, Stelios Petsas, said the health system was still under enormous pressure and some restrictions should not be lifted until next month, including a night curfew and movement between regions.

Schools, restaurants, bars, courts and ski resorts will also remain closed until that date, Mr Petsas said.

The owner of a shop selling Christmas decoration products wears a protective face mask at the entrance of his shop, during the coronavirus pandemic, in Athens, Greece, December 7, 2020. Photo: Reuters/Alkis Konstantinidis.

By the end of the week, the government will make further decisions on the operation of churches, hair salons and the retail sector.

Greece has registered 115,471 cases of coronavirus and 3,092 deaths in total.

The country had to enforce a nationwide lockdown in November, its second this year, after an aggressive surge in COVID-19 cases. It has extended it twice since then, most recently until December 14.

10-day preventive quarantine for those returning to Greece from abroad:

During the same televised briefing, Mr Petsas confirmed that travelers returning to Greece from abroad will be placed in 10-day preventive quarantine. The measure will be in effect from 18 December 2020 until 7 January 2021.

He stressed that the 10-day quarantine will be an additional measure to the Passenger Location Form (PLF) and the negative molecular COVID-19 test carried out 72 hours before arrival.

This move was made in an attempt to restrict transmission of the coronavirus over the holiday season.

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