A CORONAVIRUS case spike in Greece has sparked fears for holidays amid concerns the country could be added to the UK’s quarantine list.
Thousands of Brits gambled on Greece in a last-ditch bid for a summer break after Spain, France, and Malta were all placed on the list in recent weeks.
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The country has fared relatively well against Covid-19, with a total of just 226 deaths and 6,858 cases recorded.
But a recent rise in new infections has sparked fears people arriving back from the country could be asked to quarantine for two weeks.
Some 251 cases were recorded yesterday in the holiday hotspot’s biggest ever daily increase – compared to a daily peak of 156 during the height of the European epidemic in April.
And the number of cases per 100,000 people over the last 14 days has now jumped to 21.1 – more than Britain’s 18.6 and Germany’s 16.3, but less than Spain’s 115.7 or France’s 41.2.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps previously warned countries risk being added to the quarantine list when their infection rate exceeds 20 cases per 100,000.
Greece has fared better against coronavirus than many of its Mediterranean neighbours.
It has recorded just 226 deaths – compared to Spain's death toll of over 28,000, Italy's tally of more than 35,000, and the UK's count of over 41,000.
But the recent rise in new infections has left authorities there concerned.
Athens this week announced a string of new measures to curb the spread – ordering a night time curfew for bars, restaurants and cafes in some of the country's most popular holiday resorts.
Boozers and eateries in Mykonos, Santorini, Corfu, Rhodes, Zante and Crete must close at midnight, and cannot reopen until 7am under the new rules.
The cities of Thessaloniki, Larissa, Volos and Katerini are also affected, with the curfew lasting until at least August 23.
Every public event where people are standing, such as concerts and performances, is also being suspended throughout the country.
And those arriving in Greece across its land borders, as well as those flying in from several European countries, will have to provide proof of a negative coronavirus test before being allowed in.
The test must be performed up to 72 hours before entering the country, and Greek citizens are also obliged to present a test.
Visitors from the UK are currently exempt from this requirement.
Greece also set a temporary 50-person limit on public gatherings on Friday, which will last at least until August 24.
Gkikas Magiorkinis, an assistant professor of hygiene and epidemiology at Athens University and one of the country’s top infectious disease experts, said this week that Greece was at a crossroads in its battle against the disease.
He told the Guardian: “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.”
Magiorkinis added that cases could surge to 350 a day if the “dramatic increase” continued unabated.
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