The nationwide lockdown in response to the coronavirus pandemic announced on Sunday was necessary to fight poor compliance with government recommendations amid a small minority of the public, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Tuesday.
“The many inevitably feel wronged when they see the few violate the government’s guidelines,” Mitsotakis told a cabinet meeting held via teleconference. “Now this has become law and we are all obliged to comply with the government’s guidelines,” he said.
The conservative premier said that Greece had taken action sooner than many of its European peers to thwart the spread of the virus.
“The measures are tough and they will certainly have an impact on economic activity,” Mitsotakis said.
“Our aim has always been to buy as much time as possible and enable the [Greek] health system to respond as effectively as possible to an epidemic which, we know, will affect an increasing share of the Greek population,” he said.
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.
Authorities have so far issued 166 fines for non-compliance with the regime.
The death toll from the virus climbed to 19 on Tuesday.