Greece closed its borders with Albania and North Macedonia on Sunday, suspended flights with Spain and prohibited the entry of cruise ships and sailboats to its ports to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the country.
These drastic measures were announced after a government cabinet meeting led by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
Land, sea and air links with Albania and North Macedonia will be closed except for the transport of goods and the return of Greek citizens or residents of Greece.
The Government has not specified how long these measures will continue to isolate itself from the outside.
Mitsotakis also asked the archbishop of Athens and head of the Greek Orthodox Church, Jerome, by phone to keep the temples open only for "individual prayer" and essential services, with as few people as possible present. The Holy Synod will meet tomorrow to discuss this topic.
Until now masses have been at the center of the debate on COVID-19 in Greece. Ecclesiastical representatives and believers had defended that the coronavirus cannot be transmitted by receiving the Eucharist, which is received in a blessed silver spoon, shared by the dozens of people who attend each mass.
The Greek Government also announced today that from Monday the number of people who can be inside a supermarket will be limited to one for every 10 square meters and that, in addition, they must keep 2 meters apart from each other while shopping.
To facilitate supplies, supermarkets may also open on Sundays and extend their business hours.
In addition, tourist accommodation that has already opened must remain closed from today until April 30.
The Government has established fines of 5,000 euros for those who do not comply with prevention measures.
At the moment in Greece four people infected with COVID-19 have died. The last one, a 53-year-old man who died today in Thessaloniki, the second largest city in the country.
According to the latest data from the Ministry of Health, in Greece there are 228 confirmed cases of coronavirus.