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AFP
August 15, 2020

Greek PM calls on youths to help rein in Covid-19

World

AFP
August 15, 2020

ATHENS: Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Friday warned the country´s young people to rein in reckless behaviour seen as a key contributing factor to a spike in Covid-19 cases.

"I want to make a special appeal to our youth. I too have children of that age," Mitsotakis said ahead of additional curfew restrictions announced for Athens and other areas. "Please...take care of yourselves, you are not immune, and your parents and grandparents are especially not immune," said the prime minister, a father of three.

The civil protection authority on Friday extended to the greater Athens area a night curfew for restaurants and bars that had been originally announced on Monday for over a dozen parts of the country, including some of Greece´s leading tourist destinations.

Until August 24, eateries and bars will close from midnight to 0700 in greater Athens in addition to the previous areas, which include Thessaloniki and the popular islands of Mykonos, Santorini, Corfu, Rhodes and Crete.

Greece has recorded over 6,600 infections, including 254 cases on Friday, and 223 deaths. "We know the spread of the virus is linked to younger ages. And we also know that these people will return from holiday destinations in coming days and weeks," Mitsotakis said.

"So we are making a very strong recommendation. Whoever returns from a holiday destination must be careful for a week...wear a mask wherever possible and keep a distance from vulnerable and elderly people at home."

The PM warned that "more drastic measures that will doubtlessly have economic repercussions" would be taken if the spread of the virus is not halted. The government has so far ruled out a general lockdown after gradually reopening the economy in May and starting to accept foreign arrivals in June to salvage part of the tourism season which is vital to the economy. Authorities are also anxious to keep crowds from gathering in churches on Saturday for the Dormition of the Virgin, one of Greece´s main religious celebrations.