Greece’s ban on swimming does not apply to people with serious health conditions



Earlier this month, the Greek government imposed a ban on swimming, underwater underwater fishing and the use of private marine recreational facilities, as part of safety measures to avoid the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19).

In a statement by the Shipping Ministry, it has now been clarified that there are exemptions for people with serious health problems (children with autism, patients with multiple sclerosis etc) who need either physical exercise or other kinds of therapy for relief or rehabilitation purposes.

People who are exempt must carry the relevant documentation to be produced if required by a police officer.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Greece has risen to 2,170, according to the latest update from Health Ministry spokesperson and infectious diseases expert Professor Sotiris Tsiodras.

Some 76 patients are being treated in Intensive Care Units (ICUs). The average age of these patients is 68 years, 17 of these are women, while an 80% of all ICU patients have underlying health issues or are at least 70 years of age.

It must be noted, Tsiodras added, that 27 patients have been discharged from ICUs in the last 24 hours.

“You may be hearing good numbers, but we are not yet in a position to say that we are lifting any measures,” Tsiodras said and reiterated that people should not visit friends or relatives for the holiday feast ahead of Easter Sunday.

“We must not give the virus the opportunity to spread. We are on the right track, let’s have a little patience,” he added.

A total of 48,798 COVID-19 tests have been conducted in Greece.


People who want to leave their homes during the lockdown for one of the six reasons (listed below), must send an SMS to 13033 (free of charge), with their reason, name and home address. They must receive a reply before venturing out with their mobile phone and ID, otherwise they risk a 150-euro fine.

The reasons include:

  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