Greece’s coronavirus lockdown could tighten within next few days

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Greece’s coronavirus lockdown could tighten within next few daysΠutting a time limit on the movement of citizens who must have with them a downloaded form, permission on their cell phone or can write out on a piece of paper where they’re going

After telling CNN that Greece’s lockdown was working to contain the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is looking at clamping down further after a significant number of people left their homes without a permitted reason and some businesses staying open in defiance.

Mitsotakis confirmed comments earlier by spokesman Stelios Petsas that the government is prepared to impose stricter measures but hadn’t done yet.

“If and when we deem that we need to intervene and make the framework even stricter, we will,” Mistotakis told a teleconference of government, regional and local officials, said Kathimerini.

“Even though we are doing better than other countries, it would be inexcusable if we upset the milk jug now. This means that the restrictions we have already implemented need to be applied diligently,” he told Interior Minister Takis Theodorikakos, head of the Union of Regional Authorities, Apostolos Tzitzikostas, and the head of the Union of Municipalities, Dimitris Papastergiou.

Scenes of people walking along the waterfront promenade in Greece’s second-largest city, Thessaloniki led to only a partial ban as they will still be allowed to use it from 8 in the morning until 2 in the afternoon.

The defiance was illustrated in a widely-spread video on social media showing a woman, a TV producer, out with her son without the required permission for missions such as going to the supermarket, doctor, hospital, pharmacy or other essential businesses allowed to stay open.

That is supposed to bring a 150-euro ($163.86) fine but the woman screamed in the face of a squad of police officers who stood and watched as she yelled at passerby to break the lockdown and called them “chickens” if they didn’t.

It wasn’t reported where she was fined or arrested as her young son stood by on a scooter and watched the scene unfold.

The teleconference was called to discuss the Help at Home program, a community initiative run by local authorities to provide assistance to citizens in need, which was expanded during the lockdown for those who can’t get to the market or other needs.

“This is the time to make a real social mark, to prove that we have to face this crisis united. No one is being left behind and people who have to stay at home will have the support they need at the municipal level,” Mitsotakis said.

WHAT TO DO?

Among measures being considered, Petsas said, are putting a time limit on the movement of citizens who must have with them a downloaded form, permission on their cell phone or can write out on a piece of paper where they’re going.

While the lockdown is generally being followed, the number of violations is rising with better weather setting in and officials fearing the advent of spring and the coming of Easter on April 19 will see people leave their homes in droves.

The Hellenic Police (ELAS) recorded 1,916 violations of social distancing measures in just one day, 824 were in Attica, 140 were in the Ionian Islands, 139 in Crete, 137 in Thessaloniki, 131 in Western Greece and 108 in the Peloponnese.

Eastern Macedonia and Thrace had 79 violations, Thessaly had 72, the Southern Aegean 69, Central Greece 56, Epirus 35 and the Northern Aegean 34. The smallest number was reported in Western Macedonia, which had seven.

Since the start of the lockdown on public circulation on March 23, ELAS has issued 15,111 fines for violations.

Since the start of the lockdown on businesses like cafes, restaurants, bars, retail stores, and others ordered to close, ELAS has reported 320 violations and made 328 arrests.

Read more at thenationalherald.com

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinationsGreek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons License: CC-BY-SA Copyright: Jebulon

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