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Greece extends restrictions to curb Omicron variant By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People wearing protective face masks walk past a cafe amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Athens, Greece, December 28, 2021. REUTERS/Costas Baltas

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ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece will extend restrictions by a week at restaurants and bars to help curb the Omicron variant, which has dominated the country and was the main driver of a surge in coronavirus infections in recent weeks.

The country imposed curbs on bars, restaurants and nightclubs over the Christmas holidays last month, which were due to end on Jan. 17.

The restrictions, which have forced bars, nightclubs and restaurants to close at midnight, with no standing customers and no music, will be extended to Jan. 24, health authorities said on Wednesday. A double mask will still be mandatory in supermarkets and transport.

Authorities have said that Omicron variant, which is highly contagious, is dominant in the community, after it was first detected in early December.

Greece reported 32,694 new infections and 80 related deaths on Tuesday, bringing the total number of infections since the pandemic began to 1,568,215 and the death toll to 21,559.

It registered a record of 50,126 coronavirus infections in a day on Jan. 4.

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