NEWS

Officers to police highways, use drones to control Easter commute

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Greek Police (ELAS) will be checking travellers on highways and using drones and helicopters mostly in Athens and other big cities to ensure compliance with a ban on trips ahead of Orthodox Easter this Sunday, a deputy minister said Thursday.

Deputy Citizen Protection Minister Lefteris Economou told state-run Athens-Macedonian News Agency that stricter plans are being mulled if citizens do not comply with the measures, as the next days are considered crucial for the containment of the coronavirus.

Starting on Thursday, thousands of officers will be in the streets.

"Our experience from the last few days shows that people have not understood that they must abide by the measures and we believe that something more will be needed but we are ready to implement whatever the health experts recommend," he said.

The government has repeatedly urged Greeks to stay at home noting that gatherings in houses, open spaces, around churches, at bus stations and markets are banned.

A senior officer told ANA-MPA that police will have to intervene even in private venues if required.

"In case of complaints we have to intervene, mostly to issue warnings, but we hope it will be not necessary," he said.

The use of aerial means, said the same official, is also aimed at the supervision of cities, the protection of property and the tackling of crime in general, which is why there will be more patrols and an increased police presence to prevent burglaries and robberies, mostly of closed stores and shops.