Greece’s Deputy Minister for Civil Protection Nikos Hardalias announced Friday that lockdown measures will be extended one week until Jan. 18.  

Initially, the country was supposed to open stores Jan 11 but the government decided to impose tougher restrictions ahead of the opening of kindergartens, nurseries and elementary schools scheduled for Monday.

Retail stores will remain closed and store pickups will be suspended. Hairdressing and beauty salons will remain shut.

“We will go as the rest of Europe goes, we will take a step at a time on the basis of the experts’ recommendations,” Hardalias said during a briefing on the course of the pandemic.

Church services will take place but without the presence of worshippers.

Individuals who wish to visit churches will need to wear masks and adhere to social distancing measures.

The measures on travel are still in place, as well as a night curfew.

The Civil Aviation Authority introduced new travel restrictions earlier Friday in an effort to stem the spread of COVID-19.

All passengers arriving from abroad will be placed in a seven-day self-quarantine at the address mentioned on PLF, or passenger locator form, while existing COVID-19 Notams (notices to airmen) are extended for flights from abroad until midnight Jan. 21, according to a press release by the agency.

Greece recorded 721 new infections in the last 24 hours, of which eight were at the country’s entry points, said health authorities.

A total of 143,494 cases have been recorded since the start of the pandemic.

Health officials also confirmed 49 deaths Friday, bringing the number of fatalities to 5,195.

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