March 16, 2020 / 4:43 PM / 12 days ago

Greece to shut shops, quarantine all arrivals from abroad

FILE PHOTO: A worker in protective suit and carrying disinfection equipment walks past the parliament building in Athens, Greece, March 14, 2020. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece announced on Monday it will shut all shops apart from supermarkets, pharmacies, banks, petrol stations and food delivery services, and put anyone arriving from abroad into quarantine for two weeks, to fight the coronavirus.

Greece had already cancelled mass gatherings and closed bars, restaurants, playgrounds and gyms. So far the country has reported 352 confirmed cases of infections and four fatalities, a rise of 21 people in 24 hours. Health authorities expect the number of infections to rise.

The 14 day quarantine would apply to anyone entering the country, regardless of nationality, government spokeswoman Aristotelia Peloni told reporters. The closure of retail stores will begin from Wednesday.

Athens has also banned passenger ships from Italy and barred cruise ships from docking at Greek ports.

Reporting by Renee Maltezou and George Georgiopoulos; Editing by Peter Graff

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