ATHENS -- The Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) is cancelled, border controls are intensified, and entertainment venues at popular Greek islands are obliged to shut down overnight, the government announced on Monday afternoon, as part of new measures to stem a new wave of rising coronavirus incidence in Greece.
Alternate government spokeswoman Aristotelia Peloni said in a briefing that Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will deliver the policy speech delivered annually at TIF before a limited audience on September 5. TIF, the country's largest international expo, was scheduled from September 5 to 13 in Thessaloniki.
Restrictions announced on Monday include the following:
- Travellers to Greece coming from Belgium, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden must present a negative coronavirus (PCR) test of up to 72 hours prior to travelling, as of August 17.
- The same is true of all those entering Greece by land, as of August 17. This includes Greek citizens and those with Greek residence permits. In addition, the test must have been carried out in the country of origin, not Greece.
- As of August 16, a maximum of 750 people will be allowed to enter Greece per day through the Kakavia border with Albania.
- Any event in Greece where the audience is required to stand, including concerts and performances, is suspended throughout Greece.
- All stores that are of health interest to authorities will be shut down from 12:00 midnight to 07:00 am every day, in the following areas specifically:
Regions of Crete, East Macedonia, and Thrace; Regions of Thessaloniki, Chalkidiki peninsula, Larissa and Corfu (including Paxi islands); the islands of Antiparos, Kos, Mykonos, Paros, Rhodes, Santorini, and Zakynthos; and the cities of Katerini and Volos.
The ban may be extended to other regions selectively, the government said, depending on epidemiological data.
After managing to keep infections and deaths at low levels following an early lockdown in the initial phase of the pandemic, Greece has seen a recent surge in cases. On Sunday, Greece announced 203 new confirmed coronavirus cases, bringing its total to 5,623, with an overall death toll of 212 as of Sunday evening.