Curfews were imposed in three northern Greek municipalities to deal with soaring COVID-19 cases that has seen hospitalizations spike too but the New Democracy government reluctant to go to lockdowns or mandatory vaccinations.
Drama, Kastoria and Xanthi had tighter health restrictions put in place, joining Argolida, Kavala, Imathia, Pella, Pieria, where the Civil Protection authority is trying to rein in the re-surging pandemic.
The measures will last at least until Oct. 1 depending on reviews of epidemiological data and if the restrictions work. They include a curfew in all those areas between 1-6 a.m, said Kathimerini.
Travel during those hours is not allowed except for work and medical emergencies and music has been banned at clubs, bars and cafes to prevent overcrowding and keep people away from each other.
Parties and other gatherings of more than 20 people are also forbidden, both in private and public setting, with violators facing fines ranging from 50,000-200,000 euros ($58,677-$234,710) as a deterrent.
Deputy Health Minister Mina Gaga reminded that, “the pandemic still exists” and “we want to avoid what happened last year at all costs,” referring to 2020 when the pandemic raged and lockdowns were put in place for months.
“There is an increasing trend throughout northern Greece ranging from 11-26 percent,” she told reporters in a briefing with Professor of Pediatric Infectious Diseases Vana Papaevangelou.
“(Hospital) admissions in northern Greece are more than discharges,” Papaevangelou said, the paper reported.
“Our eyes are on northern Greece. Kozani has an increase of 60%, the number of cases in Xanthi has doubled and (they’re up) more than that in Thessaloniki,” she added.