Greek PM aims to reopen Greece again in December

Greek PM aims to reopen Greece again in December
Greek PM aims to reopen Greece again in December
*Image Credit: Giannis Kemmos

Greece's Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis stated that he expects citizens and visitors to abide by the strict covid-19 lockdown measures so that the economy and society can gradually start reopening in December.

“It’s in our hands, in the hands of all of us to be able to achieve this,” he said during a teleconference over the weekeend.

“I know that the next three weeks will be tough but I have no doubt that the measures we have taken will be adhered to by our fellow citizens and we will reduce the escalation of the second wave of the pandemic."

“Then, in a smart way, we can gradually begin to reopen economic and social activity in December, but having all received the message that this virus is constantly lurking, is a constant danger, we cannot afford to deal with it carelessly,” he continued.

Mitsotakis added that Christmas this year will be different, but expressed hope that it will not be weighed down by very strict rules.

SMS 13033 for movement during lockdown

All individuals residing in Greece will be required to send an SMS text message to 13033 in order to obtain permission to leave their homes during the lockdown.

The SMS to 13033 should be formatted as follows: X (one of the digits 1-6 corresponding to the activities below), name, surname and address.

The six reasons (you must SMS) are:
  1. Visit to a pharmacy or visit to a doctor if necessary
  2. Visit to a supermarket or stores for essential supplies
  3. Visit to a bank if e-banking transactions are not possible
  4. Visit to people needing assistance or escorting children to and from school
  5. Attending a funeral, as per the conditions provided by the law, or visiting children in case of divorced parents
  6. Physical exercise outdoors or up to two persons taking their pet for a walk while always observing a 1.5-metre distance.

Alternatively, individuals unable to send SMSs, can fill out the form by hand. There are two types of documents: Document A, which 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 B is for trips not related to work and must be filled out every time a citizen wishes to leave his or her house, instead of an SMS. It must contain name, home address, destination and reason for circulation.

Anyone leaving the house will have to carry a valid identification card or document with them.

What remains open

Most retail trade stores will be shut down, except for supermarkets (no change in hours), local markets, kiosks and the e-commerce section of retail stores.

Opticians and stores selling hearing aids will remain open, but only by appointment.

Stores selling telecoms, computers, and phones will work through e-shops only.

Other stores remaining open include: pharmacies, dry cleaners, kiosks (24 hours), gas stations, health and veterinary service centers, pet shops, and open markets (laikes), which will work at 50% capacity, and distancing of 5 meters between stalls.

Latest covid-19 numbers in Greece

Greece recorded 1,914 new cases of COVID-19 in the latest 24-hour reporting period.

This raises the total number of cases to 56,698.

4,429 are considered to be related to travel from abroad and 15,678 are related to an already known case.

Two hundred and twenty-eight individuals are in ICU. Their median age is 66 years, and 57 of them are women. 88.2% have an underlying condition or are aged 70 years and above.

A total of 323 patients have been discharged from ICUs since the start of the pandemic in Greece.

The country’s pandemic death toll stands at 784. The median age of all was 79 years and 96.4% of the deceased had an underlying condition and/or age of 70 years or more.