Defying Greece’s COVID-19 Lockdown, 1,795 Violators Hit With Fines

Police patrol around Acropolis hill in Athens on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

ATHENS – After a voluntary quarantine failed to keep people at home to stop the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus, a general essential lockdown isn’t fully working either in Greece as police said they issued 1,795 fines of 150 euros ($164.09 each.)

Some 1,631 of those were given on March 24, a day after Prime Minister and New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis imposed the lockdown because he said a minority of people were risking public health by refusing to stay home during the quarantine.

The lockdown is tougher but still allows people to leave their home for multiple reasons if they fill out a form online and get approval and print it, have it sent to their phones or simply write out on a piece of paper why are going out.

It’s allowed for going to the supermarket, pharmacy, a doctor, hospital, brief exercise, repair shops, bakeries and other essential businesses although taverns, restaurants and most everything else must stay shuttered unless they offer online or delivery services.

The majority of the violations (575) were in Attica, while significant figures were also recorded on the Ionian islands (163), on Crete (146), in western Greece (117) and in the Peloponnese (107) said Kathimerini.

Police said the number of businesses owners or managers detained for flouting the restrictions has risen to 267, including retail stores, hair salons, cafes, restaurants, florists, sports centers and clothing stores too.

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