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Covid live news: Starmer calls for immediate new England restrictions; UK records more than 50,000 new cases again | World news

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The new variant of the coronavirus, first spotted in the UK, has been detected in Greece, it was reported this evening.

Five Greeks and a Briton who tested positive for the virus upon arrival from the UK were found to have been infected with the new strain according to Skai radio. All have been quarantined in a hotel since flying into the country at Christmas.

The news came as the Greek Orthodox Churches’ governing body, the Holy Synod, was preparing to convene in emergency session following the government’s decision to re-close places of worship as part of strict lockdown measures re-imposed today.

Faithful Greeks visit Athens’ Metropolitan Cathedral

Faithful Greeks visit Athens’ Metropolitan Cathedral Photograph: Helena Smith

Senior clerics are said to be enraged that churches will not be able to mark the Holy Epiphany, celebrating the baptism of Christ, on 6 January.

In a statement ahead of the Monday morning meeting, the Synod emphasised that over Christmas and the New Year, when places of worship had been permitted to stay open, all the foreseen health measures had been strictly observed.

The session was called by Greece’s spiritual leader Archbishop Ieronymos, who only recently recovered from coronavirus himself amid suggestions that bishops were pressing to defy the order. Epiphany, which officially marks the end of the Christmas holidays, is one of the most important religious festivals in the Greek Orthodox calendar.



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Ireland passes 100,000 cases



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Starmer: bring in new national restrictions immediately

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Covid live news: Starmer calls for immediate new England restrictions; UK records more than 50,000 new cases again | World news

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