Greece has pulled forward plans for new year COVID restrictions as cases continue to skyrocket across the country.
On Wednesday, December 29, Greece’s Health Minister Thanos Plevris announced that such restrictions would come into effect the following day.
Under new enforcement, music will be banned at nightclubs, bars, and venues, as well as a ban of ‘standing customers’ - restraining all punters from standing and dancing indoors.
The nationwide crackdown will also see clubs close just hours into New Year’s Day, with new restrictions coming into force at 2:AM on January 1.
According to CNN, all annual New Year’s Eve celebrations have also been cancelled, including Athens’ yearly fireworks show above the Acropolis.
"These measures, if they are applied in our entirety, will allow us from mid-January to go back to our normal lives," Health Minister Thanos Plevris said in a press conference on Wednesday.
The decision to amplify restrictions and bring them forward from January was set following a dramatic rise in cases, one which has been linked to the new Omicron variant. On Tuesday, December 28, cases doubled in Greece to 21,657 from the day before.
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Elsewhere, a handful of regions in northern Spain are now expected to implement new curbs on nightlife including Asturias and Cantabria where nightclubs have been forced to close entirely.
In Aragon and Navarra, two more regions in the north of Spain, clubs, bars, and venues have been ordered to close at midnight each night. New restrictions were put into place on Monday.
"Catalonia is the territory in the state [Spain] that has given the most direct aid to the sectors affected by the restrictions," Spain’s Business and labour minister Roger Torrent told Catalan News Agency (ACN) on Wednesday.
"We've always said that even though we have to make those decisions [to close], we don't want to leave anyone behind. None of the sectors affected should be left on their own."
Gemma Ross is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter