Heavy snowfall causes pause in vaccine rollout in parts of Athens

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Athens vaccine rollout halted due to snow

Unusually heavy snowfall has blanketed central Athens, with authorities warning residents particularly in the Greek capital’s northern and eastern suburbs to avoid leaving their homes.

Health authorities announced they were postponing all coronavirus vaccinations across the greater Athens region of Attica for Tuesday.

One line of the Athens underground that runs partially above ground to the northern suburbs was halted, while most buses were withdrawn from the capital’s streets for safety reasons.

Snowploughs and salt lorries were cleaning the avenues of central Athens in an effort to keep them open to traffic.

Snow is common in Greece’s mountains and in the north of the country, but much rarer in the capital, particularly heavy snow.

On balconies and in the streets, some Athenians emerged cautiously outside, snapping photos of the scene.

Parts of Athens experienced electricity cuts from downed power lines that authorities said they were working to restore.

The snowfall in the centre of Athens began late Monday and continued through the night.

Snow and ice disrupt transport across Europe

Germany and the Netherlands have seen transport disrupted as heavy snowfall and icy temperatures gripped parts of central and northern Europe.

The weather led to a delay for the return of Dutch children to school following a coronavirus lockdown.

Lorries got stuck in snowdrifts overnight on the A4 highway near Gera in eastern Germany, while part of the A7 near Goettingen in northern Germany was closed after trucks became stuck on uphill stretches, news agency dpa reported.

Railway operator Deutsche Bahn said services remained suspended across parts of central and northern Germany, with no long-distance trains running north-east from Frankfurt, west from Berlin or south-west from Hamburg.

Dutch railway operator NS said a “very limited service” was expected in the Netherlands.

READ MORE: European transportation disrupted due to snow

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