Details were issued by Civil Protection Deputy Minister for Crisis Management Nikos Hardalias on the circulation ban announced by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis this afternoon, followed by clarification by other ministers.
At a press conference outlining the ban, going into effect at 06:00 on Monday (March 23) until 06:00 on April 6 or further notice, clarifications were also issued by State and Digital Governance Minister Kyriakos Pierrakakis, Citizen Protection Deputy Minister Lefteris Economou, Deputy Health Minister Vassilis Kontozamanis and Deputy Interior Minister Theodoros Livanios.
Hardalias said that medical and nursing personnel, designated staff from civil protection, security forces and the armed forces will be exempted from the circulation ban, as the prime minister announced.
Reasons to leave home
The minister specified that citizens may only circulate outside their homes for the following eight reasons:
1. Going to and from work during work hours.
2. Going to a pharmacy or a scheduled medical appointment.
3. Going to a store for basic goods, when there is no home delivery.
4. Going to the bank if an online transaction is not possible.
5. Going to help out people in need.
6. Going to an event such as a wedding, baptism, funeral or such, in accordance with the law.
7. Going out to exercise or to walk a pet, and only singly or by two. In the latter case, keeping a distance of 1.5 meters between the walkers/runners.
8. Moving back to one’s main residence.
At the press conference at Civil Protection Operation Center in Halandri, Hardalias said that Hellenic Police was responsible for the observance of the directives, while the municipal police, Port Authorities and the National Transparency Authority were responsible specifically for their areas of jurisdiction.
Citizens that need to circulate must bear a police ID or a passport with them, and a paper proving their need to circulate. There are two types of documents for the latter, he said: Document A relates to citizen circulation, and is filled out once by the person going to work, with name, home address, work address, and shift schedule. This will be provided by employers.
Document 2 is for trips not related to work, and must be filled out by a citizen every time they wish to leave their house. It must contain name, home address, destination, and reason for circulation.
Any violation of these rules will carry a 150-euro fine, he noted.
At any time as of Monday, people are banned from using children’s play areas, outdoor exercise facilities, organized marinas, parks and smaller local parks.
Mass transport will run on limited but basic work schedules. There are no restrictions on private cars except that there can be no more than one passenger.
“It must be clear and I am stress this unequivocally that the state and production network are not paralysed. They continue to operate with emergency staffing,” he said.
State and Digital Governance Minister Kyriakos Pierrakakis explained that forms for workers and employers would be ready for downloading by Sunday night at forma.gov.gr. Other options include a piece of paper and handwriting the data necessary. The third option is sending a text message to 13033. In the body of the text note any of the above reasons (1 to 6), leave a space, add your name, then your home address. (Directions for this also to be found on forma.gov.gr.)
Reasons to be listed on form, from 1 to 6: 1. pharmacy, doctor; 2. basic needs or supermarket that doesn’t deliver; 3. bank if e-banking not possible; 4. helping people in need; 5. funeral, baptism, wedding, or divorced parents’ visitation rights; 6. outdoor exercise or pet walking.
The use of helicopters and drones would be used in Athens and Thessaloniki to ensure that regulations are observed, Citizen Protection Deputy Minister Lefteris Economou said, and highways and toll stations would come under strict supervision as of 06:00 on Monday. People going through tolls without adequate documentation would be fined 150 euros and obliged to turn around and go home. “Responsible citizens who recognized the need for restricting social contact will see no other changes except needing to get the document for circulation,” Economou noted.
Warning that the health system will reach a stress point in the next few days, Deputy Health Minister Vassilis Kontozamanis said it was nevertheless “fully prepared, there are enough supplies and equipment, and more are added every day.” He said that personal responsibility and observing the Ministry of Health and the National Public Health Organization’s directives was important.
As for municipalities and regions of Greece, they will continue to operate without restricting basic services, said Deputy Interior Minister Theodoros Livanios.
He also specified that as municipal dining facilities would be closed, food would be delivered at home or in the case of the homeless, at a homeless shelter. Particular care would be expended on the homeless, the drug addicts and the Roma, he said. Cities must ensure no homeless person is out of a shelter, and he also asked mayors to remember stray animals and ensure they are fed.
A recent memo he said had upgraded the “Help at Home” program so that citizens who have mobility and other issues can be helped by municipal employees with at-home deliveries. Regions received 5 million euros and municipalities 11 million euros to cover such emergency needs, he said.
Following the prime minister’s initial announcement of the measures and details announced by the ministers, support for them was expressed by main opposition SYRIZA and its leader Alexis Tsipras, Movement for Change (KINAL) leader Fofi Gennimata, Communist Party (KKE) General Secretary Dimitris Koutsoubas and Elliniki Lysi leader Kyriakos Velopoulos.