ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece introduced stricter rules for foreign seasonal workers on Monday after a recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the Balkans.
Last year, more than 10,000 seasonal workers were employed in Greece’s agricultural sector, mainly from Albania, Bulgaria and North Macedonia.
“Land workers that exit the country before Aug. 4 will not be able to return until further notice,” government spokesman Stelios Petsas told a news briefing.
Seasonal workers were permitted into the country in early May under a three-month special licence.
Petsas added that land entry to Greece will be allowed only via six northern border crossings to better control imported COVID-19 cases.
Greece started easing lockdown measures in early May, but social-distancing rules still apply. It toughened rules for visitors at the border with Bulgaria earlier this month and stepped up spot checks inside the country.
The Mediterranean nation has so far managed to contain the spread of the virus to just over 4,000 cases, faring better than other European Union countries mainly due to an early nationwide lockdown.
Reporting Lefteris Papadimas; Editing by Catherine Evans