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Covid-19: Greece Goes into Lockdown

The Hellenic Parliament, Syntagma Square. Photo © GTP

Greece will impose a countrywide lockdown from Monday, March 23, to combat the coronavirus, barring people from moving for “unnecessary reasons”, except mainly to go to and from work and for emergencies.

Addressing the public in a televised address to the nation on Sunday, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced that of 6am Monday, all “unnecessary movements” in the country will be restricted.

“This is perhaps the last measure an organized democratic state can take,” the PM said.

The lockdown, which will remain effective until April 6, means that all citizens and residents in Greece must stay indoors (with some exceptions). Violators will be fined 150 euros.

Excluded from the rule will be those going to and from work (strictly during work hours); going to purchase groceries; going to the doctor, to buy medicine or to help a person in need; going to the bank (strictly when transactions cannot be made online); and individuals walking their pet or exercising outdoors (can be done solitary or strictly in pairs).

Those who will be moving around must have identification on them in the form of an ID or a passport. They must also have a special document with them, explaining to authorities the reason for movement. The document (in Greek) can be obtained online from the website www.forma.gov.gr. Other options include sending an SMS to the number 13033 (free of charge) or signing a personal declaration on a piece of paper (instructions can be found on the website).

Private cars can circulate for the aforementioned reasons with only the driver (who must obtain the special document explaining the reason for moving) and strictly one other person. Citizens traveling to their permanent place of residence are also exempt from the measure until they arrive at their destination. Strict checks will be made at toll booths on freeways. Drivers found to be traveling for leisure will be fined and sent back home.

Access to and all playgrounds, parks and marinas are prohibited.

The implementation of the measure will be monitored by the Greek police, the municipal police, the port authority and the country’s national authority for transparency. Athens and Thessaloniki will also be monitored from above by helicopters and drones.

Also excluded from the restriction are members of the government and parliament, government officials and all officials in the sectors of health, civil protection, security bodies and armed forces.

Greece’s lockdown measure comes after a large portion of the public defied the government’s quarantine measures and often crowded open spaces and also traveled en masse out of Athens by car and ferry.

The total recorded coronavirus cases in Greece by Sunday evening were 624 with the death toll at 15.

About the Author
Nikos is Greek-American born in New York, USA, and has lived in Greece for over 30 years. He is the managing editor of Greece's leading monthly travel and tourism guide, the Greek Travel Pages (GTP) since June 2008 and of news site GTP Headlines since its launch in September 2012. Nikos has also served as international press officer for the City of Athens and for the mayor. He has a degree in Mass Media and Communications, specializing in Journalism. Nikos is a native English speaker and speaks Greek fluently.
  1. Theo F. Reply

    Is there a chance to get the document (Weweosi Kikloforias) in english?

    • GTP editing team Reply

      Hello Theo.
      We have not been informed when the form will be available in English.
      You can contact the General Secretariat for Civil Protection directly via https://www.civilprotection.gr/en/contact-us
      Kind regards.

  2. Les Stevens Reply

    Hello, Thank you for your informative report in English. The IP address is now up and running.
    My question is, will this form be available to download in English at sometime in the near future?
    Thank You again,
    Les

    • GTP editing team Reply

      Hello Les.
      We have not been informed when the form will be available in English.
      You can contact the General Secretariat for Civil Protection directly via https://www.civilprotection.gr/en/contact-us
      Kind regards.

  3. suzanne Reply

    Hello, Would you have any idea at what time the from is available on http://www.forma.gov.gr ? It is now 20:20 and the server IP address cannot be found. Is there somewhere else where it can be downloaded, specifically to a mobile since manay do not have printers at their disposal ?

    Many thanks.
    Suzanne
    suzannehollands@gmail.com

    • GTP editing team Reply

      Hello Suzanne.
      A specific time has not been announced. It should be up later tonight. We will provide an update on the story once the website is up and running.
      Kind regards.

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