ATHENS

Greece is stepping up COVID-19 testing as well as introducing new restrictions at the local level after seeing a sudden spike in numbers in the last 24 hours after relaxing most measures against the virus.

A total of 52 new cases were reported by health authorities on Monday, the biggest increase since April 23, when the country was still on a lockdown.

Following the sudden increase, health officials decided to resume daily public briefings in order to alert Greeks to safety measures.

“There is no room for laxity or complacency. The coronavirus is here and striking back,” Athena Linou, professor of epidemiology at the Athens University Medical School, told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency.

A total of 97 new cases have been reported since last Thursday, 30 of which involved travelers from abroad, health authorities reported, while the total number of cases has risen to 3,049.

So far 182 deaths have been recorded.

A Tuesday meeting chaired by Prime Minster Kyriakos Mitsotakis including health officials decided that tests should be stepped up in order to ensure compliance with safety measures against the spread of the virus, days before the country reopens its borders for tourists.

On June 15, flights to the Athens and Thessalonica airports will resume for countries with a good epidemiological profile, while as of July 1, flights to all Greek airports and from all countries are due to restart.

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