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Greece Bans Local ‘Panigyria’ Festivals Until End of July

All local village festivals in Greece, known as “panigyria”, have been officially canceled until the end of July.

Following a spike of coronavirus cases in the country, the government on Monday requested for the health ministry’s expert committee to review the possibility of temporarily banning the popular “panigyria” festivals to avoid the risk of coronavirus (Covid-19) spreading among the hundreds of people that attend such events.

Following a teleconference, chaired by Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias, the ministry’s expert committee decided to cancel all “panigyria” festivals across the country until the end of July.

The government’s spokesman, Stelios Petsas, said that the committee was requested to review the situation as the country’s rise in coronavirus cases is not only from arrivals of travelers from abroad, but also because some Greeks seem to have “relaxed” and are ignoring the rules.

Greece on Monday recorded 24 new coronavirus cases, raising the total number to 3,826. Out of the new cases, only four were “imported” from abroad. Greece’s coronavirus death toll is at 193, still among the lowest among EU member-states.

Increased checks at Greece’s land borders

Photo source: National Public Health Organization (EODY)

Promachonas border station. Photo source: National Public Health Organization (EODY)

The health ministry’s expert committee also urged the government to increase checks at Greece’s land borders.

From July 1 to 11, 67,797 Covid-19 tests were performed at Greece’s entry points, of which 218 were positive (0.35 percent). However, the majority of positive Covid-19 cases were from travelers tested at Promachonas.

It is noted that from Wednesday, Greek authorities will only allow travelers with negative Covid-19 test results to enter Greece through the Promachonas border. Authorities are also increasing inspections at the Albanian border entry points (Kakavia and Krystalopigi).

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