Greece shuts restaurants, bars and museums to curb virus surge

ATHENS, Nov 3 (Reuters) - Greece expanded a night curfew on movement and shut restaurants, bars, theatres and museums in the most populous areas of the country for one month on Tuesday to contain a resurgence of COVID-19 cases.

The country, which fared better than many of its European peers when the pandemic broke out mainly due to an early nationwide lockdown, has reported fewer cases than most in Europe.

But it has seen a gradual increase in infections since early October and has been reimposing restrictions.

Some Greeks believe the new rules will hurt economic activity in a country that recently emerged from a decade-long debt crisis.

“We are talking about a catastrophe. A lot of the businesses that will close won’t open again. We are talking about people unemployed, huges losses to revenue, to GDP,” tavern employee Antonis Kalamaras told Reuters.

Greece registered 1,152 new cases on Monday bringing its total to 42,080 since February. A total of 642 people have died due to COVID-19.

Government spokesman Stelios Petsas urged people to respect the latest restrictions and prevent a nationwide lockdown.

“If we implement the measures we will be able to be more optimistic in December,” Petsas told Skai TV. (Reporting by Deborah Kyvrikosaios; Writing by Renee Maltezou; Editing by Giles Elgood)