In what is arguably some of the most severe coronavirus restrictions the country of Greece is requiring residents to text the authorities before leaving their homes.
Starting yesterday (Saturday) Greece has entered into a second lockdown and arguably with some of the most severe requirements. As the country grapples with a wave of coronavirus infections and fatalities the prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis felt he had to act before things spun out of control. Mitsotakis noted, “We must stop this wave. I chose once again to take drastic measures sooner rather than later.”
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The Associated Press reported that “Greece’s rolling average of daily new cases is just over 17 per 100,000 people, as compared to 33 in the United Kingdom, about 47 in Italy and 68 in France.“
In addition to a near-total travel shutdown, residents of Greece will only be allowed to leave their homes for work, medical reasons and physical exercise, and only after sending a text message to the authorities. Moreover, most shops will be shut, with the exception of supermarkets. Eateries will be restricted to delivery only during the lockdown which is currently scheduled to last through the end of the month.
Before leaving their homes, residents must text their name, address and reason they are leaving their home to a government number. When leaving your home, residents are required to provide identification and carry a completed form available on a government website. The US Embassy notes the following information:
As of November 7, 2020, travel between other regions in Greece is allowed only for health reasons, business, family reunification, or to return to one’s place of permanent residence and requires declaration as described at form.gov.gr. Flights have been suspended to/from the Macedonia Airport in Thessaloniki through November 17, 2020. International flights to/from Athens are expected to continue and U.S. citizens wishing to return to the United States will be able to do so. Travel may be restricted further with little or no advance notice to/from areas with active COVID-19 outbreaks.
If you must travel outside the home for one of the first six reasons listed above, you must send an SMS message to the number 13033 prior to going outside. The message should include the number of the reason for the movements (1-6, as above). Movements for work are permitted with a certificate issued by the employer (no SMS needed). A nighttime curfew between 9:00pm and 5:00am restricts movements only to work (with certificate), health (SMS Option 1), and pet care (SMS Option 6).US Embassy
Greece is not alone in reentering a lockdown phase. The United Kingdom recently announced a return to restrictive measures in attempts to get the virus under control. Residents violating the UK lockdown could be fined ~200 pounds or roughly $263.00.