Greece reimposes COVID-19 curbs after Christmas easing

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ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece will tighten coronavirus curbs for a week from Sunday, closing hair salons, bookstores and some other shops that had been allowed to reopen in the run-up to Christmas, the government said on Saturday.

Most shops remained closed during December in Greece but the seasonal easing of restrictions provided a little relief for some hard-hit retail businesses.

The new, tighter rules will come into force on Jan. 3, government spokesman Stelios Petsas said in a televised statement. A night-time curfew will start at 9 p.m., an hour earlier than before.

Petsas said the measures were aimed at helping schools reopen on Jan. 11.

Greece, which started the first vaccinations against the coronavirus last week, has reported 139,447 confirmed coronavirus cases and 4,881 related deaths.

(Reporting by Lefteris Papadimas; Editing by Helen Popper)