Coronavirus: Greece severs contact with Turkey, suspends UK flights

Travelers wearing facemasks for protective reasons, stand in the departure hall next to the information board, at the Athens international airport, on March 21, 2020. (AFP)

Greece has suspended flights from Britain and nearly all incoming travel from Turkey, an official said Monday as the official coronavirus death toll rose to 17.

Flights from Britain and all travel from Turkey, except that by Greek nationals, residents and goods, are suspended to April 15, acting government spokeswoman Aristotelia Peloni told reporters.

The announcement came hours after Greek authorities began enforcing a nationwide lockdown, limiting people to their homes except for essential outings.

Greece has already suspended flights from Italy, Spain and non-EU countries.

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Special flights have brought back over 1,000 Greeks, the foreign ministry said Sunday.

Those returning, mainly from other European countries, are going into compulsory 14-day quarantine.

There are 17 recorded deaths and 624 officially announced infections from the coronavirus in Greece, which has a population of 11 million.

The tough new measures mirror similar restrictions rolled out in other European nations, including hard-hit Italy, Spain and France.

Since reporting its first death from the virus on March 12, Greece has gradually rolled out measures to limit gatherings and non-essential travel along with closing schools, shops and entertainment venues.

Read the latest updates in our dedicated coroanvirus section.

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Last Update: 18:14 KSA 21:14 - GMT 18:14
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