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Greece Could be On Course to Join Britain’s Quarantine Red List if Cases Continue to Rise

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Greece looks likely to be added to the UK’s two-week quarantine list if the number of Covid-19 cases in the country continues to surge.

Greece is experiencing its highest daily increase in infections since the start of the pandemic, and that is causing concern for the UK government as it decided to add France to the ‘Red List’ list from 04.00 am today.

The Greek government ordered the quarantining of the country’s third-largest migrant camp on Friday, which is situated on the island of Chios, after a Yemeni asylum seeker and a staff member tested positive for the disease.

On Friday, the government also limited public gatherings to no more than 50 people and decreed that restaurants and bars in Athens and the islands of Crete, Paros, Santorini, Rhodes, Kos, Antiparos and Zakynthos must close by midnight- another blow to its already struggling tourism sector.

There has been a particular surge in infections among young people and Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the Greek prime minister, urged them to keep wearing masks in public places. Otherwise, they risk infecting their parents and grandparents once they return from the nightclubs and bars of the Greek islands, he said.

Gkikas Magiorkinis, an assistant professor of hygiene and epidemiology at Athens University, said, quote: “We can say that Greece has formally entered a second wave of the epidemic. This is the point that we could win or lose the battle.”

“We have to keep the situation under review and I think that is what the public would expect us to do,” UK Junior Health Minister Helen Whately said when asked whether other countries could have quarantine rules reinstated.

“If we see rates going up in a country where at the moment there is no need to quarantine, we would have to take action because we cannot take the risk of coronavirus being spread again across the UK.”

Many believe the restrictions will have to go much deeper to stop the spread of the virus. although, nightclub owners do not want to see the same restrictions put in place as in Portugal, which has virtually shut down the whole nightlife scene in Lisbon.

Travel agents in the UK have experienced massive surges in enquiries for holidays to Greece as the UK and other countries advise against travel to Spain- this may be about to change if coronavirus cases continue to rise.

Tony Winterburn

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