Greece drops plan to allow spectators back into stadiums amid COVID-19 spike

Greece has scrapped a plan to allow spectators back into sporting events, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis's office said on Tuesday, as the country implements tougher restrictions to stem an increase in COVID-19 infections.

ATHENS, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Greece has scrapped a plan to allow spectators back into sporting events, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis's office said on Tuesday, as the country implements tougher restrictions to stem an increase in COVID-19 infections.

Greek authorities had initially decided to allow a restricted number of spectators into stadiums starting from Oct. 31, setting a limit equal to 10 percent of capacity, or 3,500 people.

"Conducting the games even with a few spectators... would send a wrong message to citizens," the prime minister's office said in a statement announcing the decision to drop the plan.

Greece registered 438 new COVID-19 infections on Monday, bringing its total tally of cases so far to 25,802, with 520 deaths, much lower than in many other European countries.

(Reporting by Renee Maltezou Editing by Gareth Jones)

((renee.maltezou@thomsonreuters.com; +30 210 3376439; Reuters Messaging: renee.maltezou.reuters.com@reuters.net))

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