By Agence France-Presse
Greece will place all incoming travellers in quarantine for two weeks and suspend Church services to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
“Any who enter Greece will be placed under obligatory (quarantine) for 14 days,” acting government spokeswoman Aristotelia Peloni told reporters, saying the measure will be applied immediately “regardless of nationality”.
Those who do not abide by the regulations will face fines, she added.
Greece has progressively tightened restrictions on trade and public gatherings as the national death toll from the virus rose to four at the weekend, with nine people in intensive care as of Monday.
Peloni said most retail outlets would also be closed as of Wednesday, except pharmacies, supermarkets, petrol stations and banks.
Late on Monday, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said services “for all dogmas and religions” would be suspended, though churches would remain open for “personal prayer”.
“The protection of public health demands clear decisions,” Mitsotakis said in a tweet.
The government also suspended weddings and baptisms until March 30, overruling an announcement from the governing body of the Orthodox Church of Greece
“No liturgy. Not on Sunday, no weddings and no baptisms even as an exception,” a government source told AFP.
Funeral services will be limited to close family members of the deceased.
The government has faced days of criticism for not closing churches altogether when nearly all other public gatherings have been banned.
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 services 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.
Seasonal hotels are being closed until April 30.
The government had already shut down schools, universities, courts, cinemas and gyms last week.
Police said they have arrested dozens of people for failing to observe the new rules since Thursday.