NEWS

Restrictions to curb Covid-19 tighten over long weekend

restrictions-to-curb-covid-19-tighten-over-long-weekend

Police are further tightening restrictions on movement today as Greek Orthodox Easter Week enters its final stretch, with the next three days deemed pivotal in Greece’s so far successful battle to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.

To the end of ensuring that these restrictions are enforced and people refrain from non-essential travel – to their villages or holiday homes in the provinces – police plan to increase roadblocks on national highways, deploy drones and monitor interstate bus terminals. “It will not be easy for anyone seeking to move without being checked,” an official at the Citizens’ Protection Ministry told Kathimerini.

Meanwhile, police officers have been given instructions to monitor churches in case they decide to open to the public. There will also be a prominent police presence at large markets, like the Varvakeios in Athens.

What’s more, sources from the Hellenic Police (ELAS) made it clear yesterday that any complaints made on the 100 phone line about gatherings of people in houses, on terraces or in communal areas of apartment buildings will be checked, and that fines will be imposed if the infringements are verified.

Furthermore, addressing a daily media briefing on Thursday, Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias said that the 300-euro fine for unauthorized movement outside the prefecture where one resides would be extended to also apply within the prefecture. The extension is to apply from 9 p.m. on Saturday to midnight on Easter Monday. 

Police have been tasked with conducting checks on those citizens who cite number 4 on a list of six reasons for leaving their home – namely to provide help to someone in need – to determine that their stated reason is valid. Offenders will face a 300-euro fine and the removal of their car registration plates, while any passenger will be fined 150 euros.

Health Ministry spokesman Sotiris Tsiodras announced 15 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of cases recorded in the country to 2,207. The death toll rose to 105 after another three patients who contracted the virus died over the past 24 hours, Tsiodras said.

He said that Greece’s relative success at containing the spread of the virus, “proves, day by day, that all this effort has been worth it.” “As a country, we are setting an example to the whole world of how this virus can be beaten,” he added.