Greece drops plan to allow spectators back into stadiums amid COVID-19 spike

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece has scrapped a plan to allow spectators back into sporting events, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’s office said on Tuesday, as the country implements tougher restrictions to stem an increase in COVID-19 infections.

Greek authorities had initially decided to allow a restricted number of spectators into stadiums starting from Oct. 31, setting a limit equal to 10 percent of capacity, or 3,500 people.

“Conducting the games even with a few spectators... would send a wrong message to citizens,” the prime minister’s office said in a statement announcing the decision to drop the plan.

Greece registered 438 new COVID-19 infections on Monday, bringing its total tally of cases so far to 25,802, with 520 deaths, much lower than in many other European countries.

Reporting by Renee Maltezou; Editing by Gareth Jones