ATHENS

Three cities in the West Attica region of Greece with high infection rates were placed under a hard lockdown, Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias said on Thursday in a press briefing about the course of the pandemic.

The municipalities of Elefsina, Mandra, and Aspropyrgos will have a curfew starting from 6 p.m. as of Friday, three hours earlier than usual.

Starting Friday and for a week, all retail stores will remain closed, authorities announced.

Bookshops, hairdressers, beauty, and nail salons will also remain closed while in other areas they will be open with restrictions.

A click-away system that allows customers to pick up items they bought online or by phone will not operate in these areas for the next seven days.

All worship places will also remain shut while only funerals will be allowed with a limit of ten persons.

Health authorities also said that citizens in these municipalities will be rapid-tested in groups by the National Public Health Organization’s medical staff.

The deputy also announced that more thorough tests will be made in local companies by the National Public Health Service, Civil Protection, and the army, while free of charge masks will be given to people in these three areas of Elefsina, Mandra, and Aspropyrgos.

Meanwhile, the number of daily infections has seen a slight drop in the past days, with 1,155 on Thursday. Eight of those cases were recorded at entry points.

Greece now has a total of 128,710 recorded cases since the start of the pandemic in February.

Coronavirus fatalities have reached 3,948 with 78 new deaths recorded in the past 24 hours, health authorities said.

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