Greece to put travellers on two-week quarantine

Tourists with masks stand outside of the closed archaeological site of Roman Agora, in central Athens, Greece, on March 15, 2020. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

ATHENS (AFP) - Greece will put all incoming travellers on a two-week quarantine to limit the spread of the coronavirus, a government official said on Monday (March 16).

"Any who enters Greece will be placed under obligatory (quarantine) for 14 days," acting government spokesman Aristotelia Peloni told reporters, saying the measure will be applied "regardless of nationality".

Those who do not abide by the regulations will face fines.

Greece has progressively tightened restrictions on trade and public gatherings as the death toll from the virus rose to four at the weekend, with more than 330 cases.

Ms Peloni said most retail outlets would also be shuttered as of Wednesday, with the exception of pharmacies, supermarkets, petrol stations and banks.

Greece has already closed its borders with Albania and North Macedonia except to returning Greek nationals and residents, stopped flights to and from Spain and suspended passenger ship service to Italy.

Cruise ships will also no longer be allowed to dock at Greek ports.

Greece also closed pay-to-enter beaches from Sunday - thwarting attempts by Greeks hoping to enjoy the fine weather there after bars and restaurants were closed.

Seasonal hotels are being closed until April 30.

The government had shut down schools, universities, courts, cinemas and gyms.

Police said they had arrested dozens of people for failing to observe the new rules since Thursday.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.