Greece's government spokesman Stelios Petsas warned against complacency in the fight against the spread of COVID-19.
On his part, Greek Civil Protection Deputy Minister Nikos Hardalias reiterated the need for everyone to follow the government’s safety and health measures during the holiday season.
“It is necessary to continue to be very careful, so as not to risk facing a new outbreak of the pandemic after the holidays."
Christmas Covid-19 Rules in Greece – Here’s what you need to know:
- No more than nine people (from two households) should gather in the same house, in order to avoid overcrowding.
- The nationwide night curfew from 10pm-5am will continue to apply until. There will be no exception on Christmas or New Year’s. Exceptions: people who need to leave the house for work, health reasons or a short walk with a pet. They will have to send an SMS to 13033, or have a document from their employer.
- Police will carry out strict and constant checks throughout the country. Those caught violating curfew will face strict fines.
- The Kalanda (children singing Christmas carols) is banned this year.
- Churches will be open to the faithful on Christmas Day, New Year and Epiphany on January 6, with limits on the number of people allowed inside. There will be a limit of 25 people allowed in churches and up to 50 people in metropolitan cathedrals.
- For movement on Christmas Day or New Year, citizens must send an SMS for option 6 to the five-digit mobile phone service 13033.
- Travel between prefectures (domestic travel) in Greece remains prohibited. It is is allowed only for returning to permanent residence, family reunification, business reasons and health reasons.
Hardalias highlighted that the government’s measures may be tightened for the New Year’s holiday (on the eve and day) if citizens do not abide by the rules during Christmas.
SMS 13033 for movement
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:
- Visit to a pharmacy or visit to a doctor if necessary
- Visit to a supermarket or stores for essential supplies
- Visit to a bank if e-banking transactions are not possible
- Visit to people needing assistance or escorting children to and from school
- Attending a funeral, as per the conditions provided by the law, or visiting children in case of divorced parents
- Physical exercise outdoors or up to two persons taking their pet for a walk while always observing a 1.5-metre distance.
International travellers (except those from the UK) arriving in Greece are required to:
- Present a negative COVID-19 test no older than 72 hours, upon arrival. At the same time, passengers also need to fill in a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) at least a day before arrival.
- Take a rapid Covid-19 test upon entry
- Self isolate for 3 days
Arrivals from the UK: Those arriving to Greece from the United Kingdom will now need to self-isolate for 10 days (from 7 as previously announced). Upon arrival to Greece, they must immediately take a rapid Covid-19 test and self isolate for 10 days. They will then be obliged to take a new test after the 10th day. If the test is negative, the quarantine ends.