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Greece delays school reopening to Sept. 14, students to wear masks

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek authorities have delayed the reopening of schools by a week to Sept. 14, due to a surge in COVID-19 infections, the government said on Tuesday.

The rise in coronavirus cases in recent weeks has forced Greek authorities to gradually reimpose restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19, during the peak tourism season. The capital Athens and many popular islands have been affected.

Government spokesman Stelios Petsas said the extension was necessary for families to return to big cities from summer vacations and spend some time at home before children get back to class.

“We urge all parents to return with the children to their homes in the coming days and to make sure they stay safe ... until lessons resume,” Petsas said.

Mask wearing will be mandatory in all indoor spaces of schools across the country.

Greece has reported 207 new COVID-19 infections since Monday, raising the total number to 10,524. It has recorded a total of 271 COVID-related deaths, including five since Monday.

Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou and Renee Maltezou, Editing by Gareth Jones

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