The government on Friday could not stress enough the perils of leaving cities for the islands and countryside ostensibly to escape the spreading coronavirus epidemic, with the prime minister and other officials warning Greeks to stay put.
“Let’s break the chain of coronavirus contagion. Let’s show personal responsibility and strictly follow the guidelines. We do not congregate. We do not move. We keep our distance. We stay home!,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in a post on Twitter.
His message also included a video reminding citizens to restrict their movements outside the home to essential outings to the supermarket or the bank, for example, while stressing that while walking outdoors is permitted, this should not be done alone or in twos.
Government spokesman Stelios Petsas also sent a terse message on Friday evening, saying that choosing to move temporarily to the islands or the countryside constitutes “antisocial behavior.”
“We all need to understand that we may be infected with the virus without showing any symptoms. And in the meantime, we will be spreading the virus to communities across the Greece,” Petsas said, stressing that citizens leaving their home base are endangering themselves by moving to an area where they cannot receive the same level or treatment as in a city in the case that they become sick, as well as putting the communities there at risk.
“People choosing to escape to their villages need to act as though they already have the virus – to avoid all contact and stay at home, at all cost,” he said.