ATHENS

Greece has reported 254 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Friday, the second-highest daily spike since the virus outbreak in the country.

According to the National Organization for Public Health (EODY), two more people died of the pandemic over the past 24 hours, bringing the toll to 223.

As many as 20 cases were registered during checks at the country’s entrance points, 98 in Attica region and 76 in Thessaloniki, it said.

The latest jump in cases brings the total number of cases in the country to 6,632 since the first infection surfaced in February.

Amid the recent rise in infections, the country’s health authorities announced new restrictions aimed to curb the spread of the virus.

Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias said that all restaurants, bars and catering businesses will close from midnight until 07:00 a.m. local time in the region of Attica, the Saronic Gulf islands and the island of Kythira until Aug. 24.

The popular islands of Mykonos, Paros and Antiparos are also included in the curfew.

The assembly of more than nine people in public and private areas has also been banned, while the use of masks has been made mandatory in these islands.

Earlier in a meeting at the Maximos Mansion, Prime Minister Kyriakos MItsotakis made a special appeal to young people who seem not to be taking the matter seriously.

“Please, I am issuing a plea: Be careful, take care of yourselves, you are not invulnerable, and especially those who are not invulnerable are your parents and grandparents,” he noted.

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