The Greek government is extending the use of face masks.

“We must lean to live with the use of masks,” Deputy Civil Protection and Crisis Management Minister Nikos Hardalias said.

From Wednesday onward, masks will be compulsory for people entering shops which provide goods and services of all kinds as well as at public utility companies, doctors surgeries, municipality buildings, food retailers and hairdressers and beauty salons.

Other areas where the use of face masks is already mandatory include: all public transport, taxis, supermarkets, hospitals, health centres and diagnostic centres, lifts, ships and airplanes and for staff serving customers at restaurants, cafes and bars.

The minister also made a strong recommendation that face masks be worn in all indoor areas where people are crowded together and it is difficult to observe the necessary social distancing rules, adding that the fine for not wearing a mask in areas where this is required is 150 euros.

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Greece recorded 52 new coronavirus cases since Monday, including seven people entering the country by land or air.

This brings the total number of COVID-19 cases to 4,279 since the start of the pandemic in Greece with 1,195 related to travel abroad and another 2,139 were infected by already registered cases.

There are eight patients in ICU with an average age of around 56 years. Two of them are women, while 75 per cent have an underlying disorder or are aged 70 or more. A total of 127 have come out of ICU since the first outbreak.

Of the 52 new cases, the National Public Health Organization said, the highest concentrations were noted in the Attica region (14), Thessaloniki (9), and in Kavala, Achaia and Lesvos regions (4 each).

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Since Greece reopened for tourism, 1,297,798 people entered the country from 1-26 July, and there were 344 positive tests from those of 171,138 people tested for COVID-19. The Balkan countries accounted for the highest number of cases.