NEWS

Rules tightened for leaving home under SMS system

rules-tightened-for-leaving-home-under-sms-system

The rules governing the system of applying for permission to leave home during the lockdown by sending a coded SMS to the 13033 hotline are set to become stricter in a bid to contain the rising transmission rate of the novel coronavirus.

As of 6 a.m. on Thursday, trips to the supermarket (Code 2) or the bank (Code 3) will have to be restricted to the municipality of residence or within a 2-kilometer radius from home.

Leaving the house using the oft-abused Code 6, which is intended for personal exercise or walking a pet, will have to be on foot and people can no longer use their car or any other form of transportation to leave home for this purpose.

Moreover, inspections will be tightened for violations of Code 4, which is for helping someone in need like an elderly relative, and for enforcing the rules allowing workers to travel to and from their place of employment.

One measure is being loosened, however, and that is the weekend curfew, which is extended for an hour, from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. the next day.

The new measures were announced at a press briefing on Wednesday by Deputy Minister for Civil Protection Nikos Hardalias following the daily bulletin on the course of the pandemic, which showed a spike in new cases, hospital admissions, intubations, and deaths.