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Greece to Ban Church and Village Fairs

ATHENS — Greece says it is seeking a ban on church and village fairs and will tighten tourism-related checks following a domestic increase in coronavirus infections in recent weeks as well as a surge in some nearby Balkan countries.

Government spokesperson Stelios Petsas said a scientific committee meeting later Monday would examine a government request to impose a two-week suspension on church fairs that are popular in the summer months and have become a source of concern for public health officials.

Heightened health checks also take effect Wednesday at the Greek-Bulgarian border, at a crossing point open for nonessential travel, where all incoming travelers will be obliged to carry a health certificate saying they are negative for the virus, issued in English in the previous 72 hours.

Despite the restrictions, Petsas said Greece was going ahead with plans to open up to air travel from the U.K. starting Wednesday and was considering lifting restrictions from the United States, with a decision to be made later this month.

Greece has just 3,803 total confirmed cases of coronavirus infections and a death toll of 193, but government experts say they are worried about a recent increase in daily infection numbers as well as the pattern of the spread.

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