The fast-spreading variant of the virus which causes COVID-19, first identified in the UK, has been detected in Greece.
According to a Health Ministry official, there are four cases of the new coronavirus variant in people who recently travelled from Britain.
The World Health Organisation is yet to determine whether the new variant could undermine vaccines being rolled out around the world.
"The four persons recently travelled to Greece from Britain. They are in quarantine," a Health Ministry Official told Reuters.
It was the first time that Greece reported cases of the new variant.
The evidence that the UK variant (also known as B.1.1.7) spreads more easily between people is still unclear.
Since the start of the pandemic, the number of confirmed coronavirus infections is 140,099, with 4,957 deaths.
A strict lockdown across Greece until January 11, has once again been imposed.
Government spokesperson Stelios Petsas announced that:
- Hairdressers and churches will remain closed.
- Night curfew will be in force from 9:00 pm.
- The government hopes to open schools to all grades on January 11.
- The “click away” delivery in the commercial stores, the operation of bookstores, hairdressers, nail care services and hunting and fishing activities will stop.
The travel ban is also restored to the strictest hours, from 21:00 until 5:00 in the morning. The exceptions are employees and those in need of medical assistance.
Churches will remain closed to the faithful and there will be no sanctification on the day of the Epiphany.