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Greece tightens night time curfew as COVID-19 infections surge

FILE PHOTO: People wearing protective face masks exit a main meat market, amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Athens, Greece, November 6, 2020. REUTERS/Louiza Vradi

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece will apply a tighter curfew at night time, allowing movement only for work and health reasons as the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic increasingly pressures its public hospitals, authorities said on Wednesday.

The country reported 2,752 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, bringing the total since the start of the pandemic to 63,321. It reported 43 related deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 909.

“From Friday restrictions on movement will go into effect countrywide from 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.,” Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias said.

“Movement will be allowed strictly for work, health reasons and to walk pets close to home,” he said. “This is due to the non-necessary movement of people we have observed, mainly to others’ homes, which exacerbates the transmission of the virus.”

Greece ordered a nationwide lockdown for three weeks last Thursday, its second this year, closing high schools and retail businesses with the exception of supermarkets and pharmacies. Greeks need a permit to venture outdoors at allocated times.

Reporting by Lefteris Papadimas and George Georgiopoulos; Editing by Steve Orlofsky

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