Greece bans all transport links with Albania, North Macedonia, Spain flights

A tourist wears a protective mask as he visits Lycabettus hill in Athens, Greece, March 15, 2020. REUTERS/Costas Baltas

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece said it would ban road and sea routes, as well as flights, to Albania and North Macedonia on Sunday, as well as banning flights to and from Spain to stem the spread of coronavirus.

Only cargo and citizens who live in Greece will be allowed to travel to and from Albania and North Macedonia, authorities said. Athens also extended travel restrictions to Italy, saying it was banning passenger ship routes to and from the neighbouring country, while no cruise ships will be allowed to dock at Greek ports. The health ministry said on Sunday there had been one more fatality from coronavirus, raising the total number of deaths to four, and a total of 331 confirmed cases.

With mass gatherings banned and cafes, bars, gyms and playgrounds closed, authorities will also impose entry checks at supermarkets from Monday to avoid overcrowding.

Greek Orthodox Church governing body, the Holy Synod, will hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss attendance.

Separately, the Greek Olympic Committee said that the Olympic flame handover ceremony for the Tokyo 2020 Games scheduled for March 19 will be held without an audience or journalists present.

Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Edmund Blair, Kirsten Donovan and Alexander Smith

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