ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece will ban flights to and from Barcelona from Monday, health authorities said on Friday, as they extended most of the travel restrictions for foreign visitors by three weeks due to a surge in COVID-19 infections.
The rise in coronavirus cases in recent weeks has forced Greek authorities to gradually reimpose restrictions in the capital Athens and other areas, including popular islands at the peak of tourism season to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Greece also requires visitors from a list of countries, including Belgium, Bulgaria, Romania, Malta, Sweden, Spain, Albania, North Macedonia and the United Arab Emirates to show a negative COVID-19 test to enter the country.
The restrictions will be extended until Sept. 19, Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias told reporters, adding that the Netherlands would be dropped from the list. Flights to and from Barcelona and Spain’s Catalonia region will be banned, he said.
Health authorities also said that restrictions, including a complete ban on festivities, a limit of nine people in all public and private gatherings and compulsory mask wearing in closed and open spaces, will be imposed on the islands of Zakynthos or Zante and Lesbos as of Saturday.
On Friday, Greece reported 270 new cases. In total, the country has registered 9,800 COVID-19 infections and 259 deaths since its first case surfaced in February.
Reporting by Lefteris Papadimas and Renee Maltezou; Writing by Angeliki Koutantou. Editing by Angus MacSwan
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