Greece Tightens Travel Curbs as Virus Cases Hit Three-Month High

Greece is further restricting movement around the nation after a surge in new virus infections placed intensive care capacity under pressure.

Citizens will now be restricted to their own municipalities for essential shopping, or to a maximum of two kilometers (1.2 miles) distance from their homes. Car travel to destinations for personal exercise is banned.

Greece recorded 2,702 new virus cases Wednesday, the highest daily increase for over three months. Athens and its surrounding Attica region accounted for nearly half of the cases, even though the area has been in a strict lockdown since February 11. The new measures will begin at 6 a.m. on March 4 and will run until at least March 16.

“We are returning to the logic of last March,” Deputy Citizen Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias said. “We stay in our neighborhoods.”

Attica is classified as a so-called red zone where schools are already closed and non-essential shopping is prohibited. Despite the curbs, the number of new cases is higher than when they were first introduced.

Intensive care units in the region are now running at a 90% occupancy rate for virus patients compared with 71% on Feb. 9. The second-largest city Thessaloniki also becomes a red zone.

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