Authorities in Greece are cracking down on lockdown flouters, as the country reported a record number of daily coronavirus cases.
More specifically, they are targeting individuals making false exercise claims to bypass stay-at-home orders.
Despite four months of lockdown measures, Greece reported 2,702 confirmed new infections on Wednesday, the highest daily total so far this year.
Authorities also announced the extension of lockdown restrictions in Athens and other affected regions.
The lockdown which was set to end on March 8, has been extended to March 16.
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.
Greece's Deputy Minister for Civil Protection & Crisis Management, Nikos Hardalias also announced that starting Thursday, individuals will not be allowed to travel beyond 2 kilometres of their home to visit supermarkets, food stores and other essential goods shops or to go to the bank.
Similarly, personal exercise or pet walking must be carried out close to one's home.
"We stay at home, in our neighbourhood, and when we have to go out, we do so within the smallest possible distance," Hardalias said.
Latest covid-19 numbers in Greece
Greece recorded 2,702 new cases of COVID-19 in the latest 24-hour reporting period.
This raises the total number of cases to 197,279.
Based on confirmed data of the last 7 days, 63 of them are linked to incoming travellers and 2,419 to already registered cases.
Four hundred and thirty-one individuals are in ICU. Their median age is 68 years. 84.9% have an underlying condition or are aged 70 years and above.
The country’s pandemic death toll stands at 6,597. The median age of all was 79 years and 95.7% of the deceased had an underlying condition and/or age of 70 years or more.