Greece orders coronavirus lockdown in second city Thessaloniki

Greece on Thursday ordered additional restrictions, including a nightly curfew, in the country's second-largest city Thessaloniki due to spiking coronavirus case numbers.

The 1.1 million inhabitants of the Thessaloniki metropolitan area must now wear masks in all indoor and outdoor public places and remain in their homes between 12:30 am and 5 am.

All gatherings in public and private areas are banned, while courts, playgrounds, archaeology sites, museums and theatres will close. Restaurants are only allowed to serve takeaway food.

The measures are a part of a month-long "action plan" agreed by conservative Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis' cabinet in a videoconference.

"As in the first wave, when we acted early, we must go harder and earlier than other European countries to prevent the worst ... and relieve the health system," Mitsotakis told his ministers.

Under the plan, areas designated red due to a large number of infections go into a lockdown, while those with a more favourable epidemiological situation impose lighter measures.

Attica, with the capital Athens, remains under the "orange" regime, which includes stepped-up surveillance.

Greece was successful in combatting the pandemic in the spring with its tough restrictions on movement and gathering.

The European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) said on Wednesday that Greece had recorded a rate of 90.4 infections per 100,000 inhabitants over the previous 14 days.

That was the fourth-lowest rate among European Union member states.

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