COVID-19 Violation Crackdown Brought Fines of 4 Million Euros

ATHENS – Greek police issued so many citations for violations of health protocols during an ongoing second lockdown aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 that fines – 300 euros ($356.66) for individuals alone and up to 10,000 euros ($11,888.69) for businesses – raked in 4 million euros for the government.

The Hellenic Police (ELAS) has had squads out in force since the closing of non-essential businesses began on Nov. 7, people also required to stay home apart from permissible missions such as going to supermarkets, banks, pharmacies, specialty stories or to take exercise or walk pets.

But traffic has otherwise seemed almost normal, even jams in some spots, as streets were still often filled with cars although inspections resulted in 9,602 fines of 300 euros each and another 663 of 150 euros ($178.33) for lesser infringements. 

Just under 3 million euros ($3.57 million) was for failing to wear a mask in public or wearing it improperly and for violating restrictions on public movement although Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Archbishop Ieronymos didn't wear masks at their meeting before the cleric contracted the Coronavirus.

Inspections are going on full-tilt still, with ELAS saying that it conducted more than 59,000 checks in different parts of the country on Nov. 23, of which more than 6,000 were at Athens International Airport although few flights are arriving.

In total, officers issued 1,907 fines, 1,341 of which were for unauthorized public movement. More than 480 of those violations were in Attica, which also accounted for 179 of the Nov. 23d's 556 mask violations, said Kathimerini, while 22 people were arrested for keeping their businesses open, no word on whether they were then shut.


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