Greece imposes COVID restrictions for its second largest city

·1-min read
A general view of the White Tower and the seaside promenade during a nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Thessaloniki

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece will impose a nighttime curfew and ban music at bars, cafes and restaurants in Thessaloniki, its second biggest city, following an increase in COVID-19 cases, the government said on Thursday.

Infections have stabilised across the country but cases have surged in northern Greece.

The civil protection ministry said Thessaloniki city and its wider region and the neighbouring region of Halkidiki, along with the central city of Larissa will be moved into tier 4 restrictions for a week on Oct. 1.

Greece got through the first phase of the pandemic last year in better shape than many other countries but saw a strong resurgence of the disease this year and has faced a rise in case numbers in recent weeks.

The country reported 2,232 new infections and 33 related deaths on Thursday, bringing the total number of infections since the pandemic began to 655,767 and the death toll to 14,828.

With a population of 11 million people, the country has so far administered more than 12 million first shots. About 58% of Greeks are fully vaccinated.

The government hopes to increase that to up to 70% in an attempt to build wide immunity against the virus.

(Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Frances Kerry)

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