LONG RHODE AHEAD: Greece on the brink of lockdown again after spike in tourist coronavirus cases
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Kara GodfreyAnna Colley
10 Jul 2020, 15:02Updated: 10 Jul 2020, 15:03
GREECE is on the verge of going back into lockdown after the country reports a rise in coronavirus cases following the return of international tourists.
Overall cases have remained low across Greece, with just 2,105 active cases of coronavirus.
However, the country opened its borders to tourists on July 1 – and more than 100 tourists have tested positive for the virus since.
Brits are due to return from next week as well, with UK flights resuming to Greece from July 15.
Greek authorities are now considering enforcing lockdown measures once again from next week.
Greek authorities say they are ready to reimpose public and travel restrictions next week, warning that safety guidance for the coronavirus is being frequently ignored.
Government spokesperson Stelios Petsas told local media that they were “determined to protect the majority from the frivolous few.”
New restrictions could be introduced as soon as Monday.
Greece says it will be stepping up inspection of bars and restaurants after becoming alarmed over growing coronavirus infection rates just days before direct flights are resumed with the UK.
Health officials are also concerned over the number of “asymptomatic” cases among foreign travellers now entering the popular hotspot.
Leading infectious disease expert Nikos Sipsas this week warned: “Tourism has its risks and three weeks later we are seeing the results.”
Serbian tourists have been banned from entering Greece after Belgrade health officials confirmed a spike in cases, while additional testing is taking place at the Bulgarian border.
Brits can grab bargain deals to the Med, including Greece, with seven-night package holidays from £99pp – which haven’t been seen since the 1990s.
However, many countries don’t want Brits to return as coronavirus cases in the UK remain some of the highest in the world.
People in France, Spain, Italy and Germany have all expressed concerns about UK tourists due to the alarming coronavirus rate in the country – two thirds of Spaniards even want a Brit ban.