Police fine 33 for flouting new coronavirus rules


On the first day of Greece’s nationwide restrictions on movement, authorities expressed satisfaction with the public’s response to the toughened lockdown regulations aimed at stemming the spread of the new coronavirus. 

Effective from Monday, those going to or returning from their workplace have to carry a completed form detailing their residence, work address and working hours.

Meanwhile, citizens planning to leave the house to visit a pharmacy, doctor, bank or food store, to walk their pet or go for a brief walk or run for the purpose of exercise have to complete a form or send a text message to the Civil Protection Ministry explaining their reason. Offenders face a 150-euro fine if stopped by the police. 

Hellenic Police (ELAS) officials said only 33 people were fined for flouting the lockdown regulations by late Monday afternoon. Officials expressed their satisfaction regarding the response of citizens, saying that the proportion of offenders was around “one in a thousand.” 

About a third of the fines were imposed in the Attica region. Most were incurred by people who refused to comply with officers’ recommendations. 

ELAS said Monday’s checks were mainly aimed at providing information and issuing warnings. It stressed that inspections will intensify. Police officials said that older people had the most difficulty in complying with the new regime.

They said that the police’s 100 phone line received a total of 11,000 calls within eight hours requesting information about the curfew regulations.

Meanwhile, authorities said people continued to gather in larger numbers in downtown areas with a high concentration of immigrants, such as Acharnon Street.

ELAS said the lockdown regulations that have been played on loudspeakers during car and motorcycle patrols will be recorded in English and Arabic to assist foreigners.

Public gatherings of more than 10 people are banned.