Athens, October 31: Greece has emerge as the latest European Union (EU) nation to re-impose a set of stringent curbs in bid to reduce the pace of COVID-19 transmission. In a televised address on Saturday, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced that a lockdown will come into effect from Tuesday, November 3. UK Considering 'Total Lockdown' From Next Week as Scientists Warn of 4,000 Deaths Per Day; Curbs Expected Till Before Christmas.

The maximum restrictions will be placed in Athens and other major cities, the PM said, adding that restaurants, bars and other leisure activities will remain closed till the threat of virus subsides. In the rest of country, including rural parts, an overnight curfew will come into effect.

Wearing of masks will remain compulsory outdoors, Mitsotakis said, adding that Greeks need to adopt maximum restrictions at this juncture of the fight against the pandemic.

If the guard is lowered, then an unprecedented number of deaths will be recorded, the Prime Minister said in a blunt warning to the nation. "We must act now, before intensive care units buckle under the strain of lives in danger," he added.

Over the past week, six major European nations have re-imposed total lockdowns to break the chain of infections. They include France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain and Belgium. England is expected to join the list next week, with local media reports claiming that the No 10 Downing Street is considering a shutdown that would be lifted only before Christmas.

In Slovakia, the government has launched an ambitious programme to test the entire population. Media reports in Portugal also claimed that a lockdown plan is under consideration. Outside Europe, Iran in the Middle East is preparing for stringent curbs as the number of infections are feared to rise in winter months.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Oct 31, 2020 09:29 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website