Greece bans gatherings of 10 people and more, effective Thursday

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece will ban public gatherings of 10 people and more from Thursday in an attempt to prevent the spread of coronavirus, its crisis management minister said.

“Movement outside of the home must be limited to the absolute minimum and only for vital needs,” the minister, Nikos Hardalias, told journalists.

Greece reported a rise in the number of coronavirus cases on Wednesday by 31, to 418 people. It has reported five deaths.

Hardalias said anyone violating the limit on gatherings would face a 1,000 euro fine. Police have been out in areas of the country with loudspeakers urging people taking advantage of the moderate weather to go home.

To try to slow its spread, the government on Tuesday ordered a shutdown of all retailers other than chemists, supermarkets and gas stations, effective from Wednesday and lasting for at least 10 days. It has also tightened its borders, restricting entry to only Greeks and EU citizens.

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