As Greece enters a universal lockdown on Saturday, authorities have said that it will be strictly enforced, with tough penalties for violations.
More specifically, a fine of 300 euros compared to €150 that was in force until on Friday, will be imposed from Saturday on those who violate the rules for using a mask indoors and outdoors, non-observance of social distancing and for non-essential travel.
What’s more, employers who provide false movement permits for employees will be fined €500. Companies that operate in violation of the new measures and the lockdown face fines of between €3,000 and €5,000.
Deputy Minister of Civil Protection Nikos Hardalias warned that the checks for the correct implementation of the measures will be sweeping and called for rational use of movement using the SMS system. Under the SMS system, cellphone users must send a message to the toll-free 13033 hotline featuring the number corresponding to one of six approved reasons to leave home, followed by their name and address.
The six reasons are: 1. Visiting a pharmacy or a doctor, the latter by appointment only; 2. Doing a shopping run to a supermarket or grocery store, when delivery is not an option; 3. Visiting a bank when an online transaction is not possible; 4. Providing assistance to someone in need or chaperoning children to/from school; 5. Attending a funeral or exercising parental visitation rights; 6. Physical exercise or walking a pet – up to two people can engage in these activities on the condition that they maintain a distance of 1.5 meters from one another.
Hardalias also clarified that passengers arriving on foreign flights and those entering from the land border are obliged to present a negative test (PCR) for the coronavirus with a sample taken up to 72 hours before.
Meanwhile on Friday, the National Organization for Public Health reported 2,448 confirmed coronavirus infections and 14 deaths, bringing total cases since the start of the health crisis to 52,254 and fatalities to 715. The numbers are a bit better than Thursday’s record figures of 2,917 positive tests and 29 deaths, but are still alarming, especially in light of the limitations of the public health system. Indicative of the pressure on hospitals from the steep rise in infections over the past few weeks, EODY reported that 196 Covid-19 patients are on ventilators in intensive care, a new high and an increase from Thursday’s figure of 187.