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Rules for Greece’s Second Covid-19 Lockdown Explained

UPDATE: As of Friday, November 13, a night curfew will be in force in Greece. Press here for update.

Greece’s updated color-coded risk-assessment map. Source: covid19.gov.gr

Greeks will have to abide by a number of rules as of November 7 when Greece enters its second national lockdown following a sharp rise in coronavirus (Covid-19) cases.

As of Saturday, the whole country of Greece will be in Level 3-grey status and “subject to special restrictions”.

Being in grey status means that for the next three weeks:

– Wearing a mask is mandatory everywhere in public (indoors and outdoors).
– A 24-hour restriction on movement must be followed (exceptions per time zone apply).
– People are allowed to leave their homes only for specific reasons and must notify authorities by sending an SMS.
Teleworking is mandatory for 50 percent of employees both in the public and private sectors.
– A number of businesses, including retail stores, bars, cafes and restaurants will remain closed.

Following are instructions for movement and information on which businesses and establishments will be operating and which will be closed for the next three weeks.

Movement restrictions

A 24-hour restriction on movement has been imposed with exceptions. Outside movement is allowed only for specific reasons and by sending an SMS to the five-digit mobile phone service 13033.
What to write in the SMS: Option number/reason of movement (space) home address and send to 13033.
A handwritten document for reason of movement during Greece’s lockdown is also acceptable (instructions are provided below).

NOTE: In case movement is work-related, citizens must have identification on them in the form of an ID or a passport and a type A employer certificate (hard copy) or special self-employment certificate (hard copy) to present in case of inspection by authorities. The document (in Greek) can be obtained online from the website www.forma.gov.gr.

Citizens are allowed movement (with identification on them) outdoors only for the following reasons:

– To go and return from work during working hours (with a type A employer certificate, without sending an SMS)
– To go to a pharmacy or attending an appointment with a doctor (SMS – Option 1)
– To go to the supermarket if it is not possible for groceries to be delivered (SMS – Option 2)
– To go to a public service office with a scheduled appointment and to the bank strictly if online transactions are not possible (SMS – Option 3)
– To provide assistance to people in need or to accompany young students (minors) to/from school (SMS – Option 4)
– To go to a funeral under the conditions provided by law or if divorced/separated parents need to go outdoors for reasons concerning their child/children (SMS – Option 5)
– To exercise outdoors (jogging) or walk a pet, solitary or strictly in pairs and observing the necessary distance of 1.5 meters from one another (SMS – Option 6)

During night hours, movement (with identification) in Greece is allowed strictly for the following reasons:

– Work (with type A employer certificate, without sending an SMS)
– Health (SMS – Option 1)
– To exercise outdoors (close to permanent residence) and to walk a pet (SMS – Option 6)

It is noted that movement for hunting or fishing is not allowed. Both activities are currently banned in the country.

Info for those with an international SIM card

According to the General Secretariat for Civil Protection, the 13033 service is available from mobile phones with a SIM card of Greek mobile phone providers (Cosmote, Vodafone GR, Wind). In order to use the 13033 service, citizens with an international SIM card can obtain a prepaid connection from the points of sale of the providers. It is reminded that the use of the 13033 service is free of charge.

Handwritten document for reason of movement

A handwritten document explaining reason of movement is also acceptable by Greek authorities. The document must have the following information:

First name/family name
Address
Reason for movement that falls into the permitted categories mentioned above and the address of the destination one is going to.
Date, time and signature

When outside, citizens must have identification on them in the form of an ID or a passport.

How to get to the airport during lockdown

GTP Headlines contacted the Greek General Secretariat for Civil Protection and requested what documentation is needed (for reason of movement) by those wanting to go to the airport to catch a flight.

According to their answer, those traveling to airport must have their airline booking with them (printed or in mobile form) and a handwritten statement (signed by the traveler) stating the reason for movement.

NOTE: Individuals caught violating movement restrictions will face strict penalties which reach up to 300 euros.

Transportation/travel rules

Travel by public transport, ferries, taxis and private cars:
Public transport: 65 percent capacity
Ferries: 65 percent capacity
Taxis: Only one passenger is allowed (a second person is allowed to accompany a passenger in need or small children)
Private cars: Only 2 people, including the driver, are allowed per private car (underaged children are excluded from the rule)

Travel by plane
Greece’s airports will remain open to domestic and international travel, as well as the country’s land borders, but restrictions will be in force. Press here for more information.

It is noted that travel between prefectures (domestic travel) is allowed only for:

– returning to permanent residence (proof of residence, such as the E1 tax return form, will be required)
– family reunification
– business reasons
– health reasons

What businesses will be closed, which services will be suspended and other useful information

Businesses, establishments that will remain closed during lockdown:

– retail stores
– bars, cafes
– restaurants (take-away and drive-through services will operate)
– museums and archaeological sites
– cinemas
– gyms
– courthouses
– playgrounds
– hairdressers, barbershops and beauty salons (will shut down from Monday, November 9)

The following activities will be suspended:

– all public gatherings
– all performances (theaters, concerts and other performing arts). Only virtual performances are allowed.
– conferences, exhibitions, events
– the operation of Sunday open markets and neighborhood fairs are banned

Measures and rules apply for sports activities; refugee reception and identification centers; farmers markets (laiki) and places of worship.

What that will remain open

Supermarkets and similar establishments (mini markets, bakeries, butcher shops)
– 1 person per 10 sq.m. (4 people 20-100 sq.m. and 1 person for every 10 sq.m. extra)
– All shopping carts and baskets must be frequently disinfected
– Operation until 20:30
– Weekend operation

Banks
Visits to banks are allowed only if specific transactions can not be made online.

Public services
Visits to public service offices are allowed only by appointment.

Hospitals and diagnostic centers
– Patients are allowed only one visitor / chaperone
– Limit of scheduled surgeries up to 80% (oncological and emergency cases are excluded from the restrictions)

Optical and hearing aid stores
Visits to optical and hearing aid stores are allowed only by appointment.

The following establishments will also remain open: dry cleaning stores, kiosks (24 hours), pharmacies, gas stations, veterinary services and pet shops.

It should be noted that some measures and rules are subject to change – with little to no advance notice – based on the latest scientific and research information.

Press here to see the rules for ‘grey’ areas on Greece’s risk-assessment map (in Greek).

About the Author
This is the team byline for GTP. The copyrights for these articles are owned by GTP. They may not be redistributed without the permission of the owner.
  1. George Reply

    Hi,

    I’m traveling to Thessaloniki from abroad but my final destination is in another prefecture. I can’t go there the same day since there aren’t any bus routes, so I have to wait until the next morning. Since I’m not a permanent resident of Greece and I don’t have health or business reasons, am I allowed to do that? Will the PLF be enough?

    • Stephanie Reply

      I have the same query but layover and final destination differ. I’ve contacted my airline, ferry companies, port authorities, who all say to contact civil protection.. who don’t answer and only respond to emails by saying to contact their number. I’m hoping the answer is found in this thread, with some type of confirmation from an offical source.

    • GTP editing team Reply

      Please check this link https://news.gtp.gr/2020/11/13/lockdown-in-greece-guidelines-for-tourists/
      and specifically the instructions given for visitors ARRIVING in Greece (and trying to reach their hotel).
      The instructions in this article are from the Tourism Ministry.
      Since you are a visitor and you are trying to reach your destination, the PLF should be enough but we do advise that you contact your embassy to be sure.

      • Stephanie Reply

        Do you believe that I would be able to travel London to Athens with a night layover before continuing to Santorini along with this advice? I will defiantly contact my advise but have not seen this advice elsewhere. Where can I find the direct instructions from the Tourism Ministry? Thank you very much.

      • George Reply

        Thank you for your answer. I checked the link but what if I’m not going to stay in a hotel but my family’s house? I can’t show a reservation for that. I guess I have to contact the embassy and Civil Protection just to be sure.

        • alex Reply

          If travellers plan to have multiple stop-overs in Greece, they must declare this and report their initial destination and their travel itinerary for the next 7 days.
          Source: https://travel.gov.gr/#/ > Protocol for air arrivals

  2. Taqi Reply

    Is it possible that I can go skating by sending the number 6 ( to the authorities ).Or is it a violation?

  3. Kathryn Reply

    Our 90 days free visa will be expired. Do we need to extend? Or Greece will not account the time when is lockdown?

  4. LL Reply

    Does anyone know whether it’d be allowed to 1. fly to Athens (international European flight) and 2. subsequently catch a ferry to Lesvos for work?

  5. Don Smith Reply

    I’ve got a question.
    Are visits allowed at my residence?

  6. Dan Reply

    We have been living on a Greek island for the past 5 months. My wife is ill – non-Covid – and needs to go to Athens for an MRI. We have been told that she can go but not return to the island though her child is here. Is this correct?

  7. Michael Bray Reply

    Do you have to wear a mask when driving your own car under the latest lockdown.
    Michael

  8. Jeannine Athas Reply

    Will post offices be open?
    A receipt was cut short by ELTA. I need the tracking number to locate the parcel. Thanks!

  9. Enzo Reply

    I believe the SMS number works with international SIM card when you dial the country code first. At least it seems to work in my case.

  10. Heidi Reply

    Hi there! It says that international travel is allowed with restrictions but what are these restrictions? Are foreigners allowed to leave the country during the lockdown to continue their travels? Unfortunately I cannot find any official source stating this.

  11. John Reply

    I am in Kalamata and need to get an early morning flight from Athens. Am I allowed to drive during the night-time curfew to return home?

    • Maria Theofanopoulou Reply

      It’s better if address your questions to the nearest police station in Kalamata.

  12. Victoria Reply

    Can i go for fishinng near my home(there is no another People) with a chield? And what about sweeming in the sea (training). Thank you for explain and help!

  13. Adam Reply

    Hi,
    Me and my 3 friends are all staying in the same AirBnb. We only have 1 car? We heard there is a limit on number of people in car even though we all live in the same house?

    • Dani Reply

      3 people in private owned car (including driver).
      In taxi only 1 passenger allowed.

  14. D Hatzizacharia Reply

    Is it not possible for a married couple or one parent with older child to share a taxi. If my family needed a taxi in these circumstances we would need 5 separate taxis!!!

    • JJ Reply

      The whole point is that people should not travel unless absolutely necessary. Why would your whole family need to go somewhere together? If it is absolutely necessary you will have to take separate taxis if you have no other means of transport like a bus. Under she children don’t count.

  15. Christiana Hayward-Kourabas Reply

    I’ve tried to connect to the message service on the App Store but the messages do not connect.

    I’ve got the Δήμος ΒΒΒ app so although it downloaded perfectly the messages don’t go through.

    When I added 0030 to the front of the number it went through but I didn’t get a response.

    I can’t go out without an SMS and I can’t get my response, any suggestions?

    • JJ Reply

      You can go out. A handwritten note will suffice.

  16. Stuart Evans Reply

    Efficient GTP team. Bravo !

  17. IgnorantIdiots Reply

    This System is straight dumb retarded, whoever designed this should be fired and never allowed to work in a public service ever again.

    The SMS doesn’t work without local SIM card and I find out today, I don’t travel with a printer and I can’t go outside without risking being fined to find a place to print that will most likely not be opened, the apps mentioned on the above message DO require a Greek card because they simply format the SMS for you and I don’t carry papers with me to write down stuff on them, this is beyond ridiculous.

    • Noni Reply

      I am afraid you did not read the article and the istructions thoroughly. You can prepare a HANDWRITTEN certificate that must have the following information:
      Full name
      Address
      Reason for movement that falls into the above permitted categories Destination address
      Date, time, signature

    • JJ Reply

      You can write it out by hand.

  18. David Ward Reply

    Does the sms rule last for the full three weeks?

  19. Sofia Shapatava Reply

    Hi guys, I am trying and trying since morning to send sms in 13033 from different apps and it just does not go. What can I do??? Or who can I call to solve the problem???

  20. Kurt Stocker Reply

    Can I still go ride my mountain bike in Seix Sou forest Thessaloniki?

  21. Patricia KERLEY Reply

    Can we go swimming in the sea as exersize

    • Maria Theofanopoulou Reply

      Swimming is allowed

  22. Alistair Reply

    Is just going for a walk for some exercise permitted in option 6? Or do i literally have to be running? Serious question!

    • Maria Theofanopoulou Reply

      Walking is considered an exercise.

  23. Aleksandra Reply

    You have covered airplane travels, but can you tell me what proof I need to reach Evzonio border cross, as I don’t have tickets or hotel booking.

  24. Richard A Reply

    Hello, myself and my wife want to go for a walk/exercise we only have one Greek mobile phone between us. How would we send an sms to 13033? I know it is option 6, but would you then put in both our names and then the address or would you send two separate sms from the same phone? Thanks for your great help and advice

    • GTP editing team Reply

      As noted in the article, outdoor exercise or walking a pet is allowed solitary or strictly in pairs while observing the necessary distance of 1.5 meters from one another.
      One SMS with one name should be enough.

  25. Mohomed abdulkadir Reply

    Hi, i am in lesvos and i want to travel to the mainland to messolonghi to my permanent residence. Can you tell me what i need to do now please?

    • Maria Theofanopoulou Reply

      Return to permanent residence requires proof of residence, such as the E1 tax return form.

  26. Robert Reply

    What counts as “exercise”? They can’t expect everyone to go joining now. Going for a walk at the fresh air should also count as exercise, right? Is there any definition what’s “close to residence” means?

  27. Antonio Reply

    Hello

    Does walking count as exercise or does it have to be jogging

    Thanks

  28. Denise tzekos Reply

    Can you go swimming at nearest beach location to if it is part of a physio procedure you do for health reasons

  29. Susie Manetas Reply

    Winter swimmers?

  30. Damian W Reply

    What about post office?

  31. alex webster Reply

    What if you do not have mobile phone ?

    • GTP editing team Reply

      A handwritten statement with your signature that states the reason for movement (as well as the date, the time, your name and address of where you are staying in Greece) is also acceptable. Please note that you must have a form of identification (ID card or passport) with you when outside.

      • Lizzy Lund Reply

        Been through this today myself – the SMS number does not recognise iMessage. The app does not recognise iMessage either. On some devices you can only use iMessage.

    • zaa Reply

      u go get a phone

  32. Vladislav Reply

    I am a foreigner and cannot connect number 13033,or +30 13033,
    are there international number?

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