Spanish student sentenced in Greece over lockdown party

THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) — A Spanish exchange student in Greece has been given a suspended sentence and fined for violating lockdown measures and hosting a party with dozens of guests in the northern city of Thessaloniki.

The 21-year-old woman was arrested in the early hours of Wednesday after neighbors alerted authorities. All 52 guests at the party were fined 300 euros ($350) each for violating coronavirus restrictions, while the hostess received a 3,000-euro ($3,500) fine.

A court on Wednesday found her guilty of violating regulations for the prevention of disease transmission and for breaching the peace, and sentenced her to six months and 10 days in jail, suspended for three years.

The woman, who said she had been in Greece for just one month and hadn’t realized there were lockdown measures in place, was released after her trial.

Greece has been under lockdown-type restrictions since early November as authorities try to stem a renewed surge of coronavirus infections and deaths. The restrictions have shuttered the retail sector, banned gatherings and allow people out of their homes only for specific reasons and if they send a text message to authorities or carry a self-declaration form. Wearing masks is compulsory in all indoor and outdoor public areas.

Despite the measures, Greece recorded a record high in new daily infections on Tuesday, with 4,340 new cases, and 72 deaths. The health care system is under severe strain, with many intensive care units beyond capacity.

Since the start of the pandemic, the country of about 11 million has recorded about 260,000 infections and just over 8,000 deaths.

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Follow all of AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic, https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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