ATHENS, Greece — Swaths of Greece have been shrouded in haze as persistent southerly winds have carried waves of dust from the African continent across the Mediterranean.

The dust cloud has reduced visibility in large parts of Greece, including in the capital Athens, and health authorities have urged those with breathing problems, the very young and the elderly to limit their time outdoors. The southern island of Crete was particularly badly affected, with some parts reporting dust in the air 10 times normal levels.

Schools in some parts of Crete remained closed Monday due to the dust, although conditions on the island were reported to have improved compared with the previous week.

Meteorologists said conditions are expected to improve from Monday evening in the capital and from Wednesday in southern Greece and Crete.