1. Video content

    Video caption: Greece: Covid vaccine certificates are not discriminatory

    A vaccine certificate could speed up travel for some in the summer, says Greece's Akis Skertsos.

  2. Athens lockdown and Spanish infections hit 3m: Latest across Europe

    A medical worker adjusts extra personal protective equipment (PPE) at the intensive care unit (ICU) of the Sotiria hospital, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Athens
    Image caption: Infection rates in the Athens region have returned to levels last seen in November

    The Greek capital Athens is to go into hard lockdown tomorrow, with most shops shut and all schooling going online. Kindergartens and primary and secondary schools only reopened a couple of weeks ago, but Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis says higher hospital admissions are putting a strain on the Greek health service.

    Spain has recorded another 766 deaths in 24 hours – the highest number since April – and the number of infections since the pandemic began has passed three million. The spike has been blamed on restrictions being eased over Christmas, but the weekly incidence rate has started to fall and more than two million Spaniards have been vaccinated. Key workers will start getting the Oxford-AstraZeneca drug, which Spain won’t be giving to over-55s, even though it’s been approved by the EU’s medical agency.

    German state leaders get together on video with Chancellor Angela Merkel with full expectation that they’ll prolong the country’s lockdown beyond 14 February. Infections are down to just over 8,000 a day but Baden-Württemberg state premier Winfried Kretschmann says no-one should expect “an orgy of opening”. Intensive care expert Gernot Marx says schools and daycare centres should remain shut because he says they’re a big channel for spreading infection.

    As soon as Italy gets a new government it’ll have to decide whether to extend a ban on travel between different regions, in place since December. Ministers will also have to decide whether to allow ski resorts to open. The regional travel ban expires on Monday and the man expected to lead the government, Mario Draghi, may not have been given parliamentary backing in time.

  3. Venice to Mycenae

    Video content

    Video caption: Sir Mortimer Wheeler sails the Mediterranean. (1958)

    First transmitted in 1958, Sir Mortimer Wheeler sails from Venice to Greece, to determine why iconic sites continue to fulfil the earnest traveller's sightseeing pleasure.

  4. Delos to Athens

    Video content

    Video caption: Sir Mortimer Wheeler and the Hellenic Travellers’ Club crew visit Delos and Athens. (1958)

    First transmitted in 1958, Sir Mortimer Wheeler and the Hellenic Travellers’ Club visit Delos and Athens in the last leg of their journey around the Mediterranean.

  5. Greek PM under fire for group lunch

    Kostas Kallergis

    BBC News, Europe Producer

    Crowd filmed on Ikaria, including PM Mitsotakis, 6 February 2021
    Image caption: The Greek leader was among a crowd at an MP's house

    Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis has been heavily criticised across the political spectrum for a lunch he had on Saturday with dozens of people, despite the government's Covid restrictions.

    He was visiting the isle of Ikaria, on a tour of three remote islands in the eastern Aegean, to check on the progress of vaccinations.

    A video filmed by a local showed about 30 people heading to the house of MP Christodoulos Stefanadis in the port of Evdilos. The person who filmed it is heard wondering “Can all these people fit in Stefanadis’ house?”

    The video sparked angry tweets by Greeks who saw Covid restrictions tightened that same day. The nationwide curfew was extended to 6pm at weekends.

    It's the second such incident involving the liberal-conservative prime minister. In December, photos surfaced of him and his wife taking selfies with supporters while mountain-biking in a forest near Athens.

    Mr Mitsotakis was seen surrounded by several passers-by who were not wearing masks, while one of them lent his motorbike to the PM’s wife for a ride. While he apologised for the incident, he said he was disappointed that such a carefree private moment had been exaggerated.

    PM Mitsotakis posing with children on Fournoi, 6 Feb 21
    Image caption: PM Mitsotakis also posed for selfies with children on Fournoi
  6. EU summit and French ski gloom: Latest around Europe

    EU leaders meet via video late this afternoon for a summit focusing on the vaccine rollout and how to contain the spread of new variants of Covid-19. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is warning that border controls could be introduced if tighter common measures aren’t agreed. Greece, meanwhile, is keen for an EU vaccination certificate to help cross-border travel.

    People enjoy a winter day amid coronavirus disease (COVID-19) lockdown measures in the Semnoz ski resort near Annecy, France, January 20, 2021
    Image caption: French ski resorts like this at Semnoz rely on the winter season for 40% of their income

    There's bad news for the French ski industry – as expected ski lifts will remain closed at the start of next month and the tourism minister says it’s highly unlikely they can reopen later on in February. At least a quarter of a million French jobs rely on the ski season and the government is working on economic support measures.

    German health officials are seeing a lower trend in infections since Christmas. Although over 20,000 new infections have been reported in the past 24 hours, the Robert Koch institute says weekly incidence rates are now down to 119 infections per 100,000, the lowest since the start of November.

    The mayor of Moscow, Sergei Sobyanin, is lifting some Covid restrictions from tomorrow, with city colleges and sport schools allowed to reopen and capacity at theatres and cinemas raised from a quarter to a half. Schools reopened last week and the mayor says more than 220,000 people in the capital have been vaccinated.

    Swedish PM Stefan Lofven has extended a ban on alcohol sales in restaurants after 20:00 until 7 February and told bosses the most important thing they can do is to let staff work from home. Sweden has reported a slight fall in the number of Covid patients in intensive care to 327.

  7. Video content

    Video caption: Greek Olympian Bekatorou speaks out on sexual abuse

    The decision by ex-Olympic champion Sofia Bekatorou to describe how she was assaulted shocks Greece.

  8. Greek Olympian speaks out on sexual abuse

    Video content

    Video caption: Greek Olympian Bekatorou speaks out on sexual abuse

    The decision by ex-Olympic champion Sofia Bekatorou to describe how she was assaulted shocks Greece.

  9. Video content

    Video caption: In the 1980s Greece demanded Britain return the Parthenon marbles.

    In the 1980s Greece demanded Britain return the Parthenon marbles, a world heritage sculptural frieze removed by Lord Elgin of Britain two hundred years before.

  10. 'Tough measures in Germany until Easter': Latest in Europe

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel adjusts her face mask as she arrives for the beginning of the weekly meeting of the German Federal cabinet in the conference hall of the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, 06 January 2021

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned of another 8-10 weeks of "tough measures" to defeat Covid-19, according to Bild newspaper. It says she's told officials that if the British variant of Covid-19 isn't kept at bay, there'll be a 10-fold increase in German cases by Easter. Germany has reported another 891 deaths in the past 24 hours - and another 12,800 cases.

    Portugal’s outgoing President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa has tested positive for Covid-19 and cancelled all his engagements. The 72-year-old is described as asymptomatic and he’s having a second test to confirm last night’s result. Portugal has presidential elections on 24 January and the other candidates have taken part in recent TV debates with Mr de Sousa.

    A day after Johns Hopkins University figures indicated Ireland had the world's highest number of confirmed new Covid-19 cases per million people, public broadcaster RTÉ says 13 hospitals have been listed as having no intensive care beds free. But new cases fell last night to 4,929 and Prof Philip Nolan of Ireland's virus modelling group says there are signs the country is "beginning to turn a corner".

    The EU's medicines regulator says it could decide whether to authorise the AstraZeneca/Oxford University vaccine on 29 January. The EU is trying to ramp up vaccinations after a slow start. Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades said earlier this week he had asked Israel to help supply vaccines.

    Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis reportedly wants the EU to back a pan-European vaccination certificate to enable free movement for those who’ve had the jab. Politico has seen his letter to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.