Gerapetritis: Greeks Sent 110 Million Text Messages for Outing Permits during Lockdown

ATHENS – Some 110 million outing permission text messages (SMSs) were sent out by citizens during the six-week coronavirus home quarantine, State Minister Giorgos Gerapetritis told SKAI radio on Monday.

As Monday was the first day the public left home without pre-approval, Gerapetritis commented that it was too early to have a complete picture of public behavior, but citizens did not appear to crowd in public transportation. They also appeared to have observed safety protocols of social distancing and hygienic protection.

Asked about the reopening of schools, he said that these will open not only for educational reasons, but also because open schools "contribute a lot to the mental balance of children." He did express his personal reservations about the reopening of primary schools, but noted that authorities will "follow the advice of experts" when the time comes.

On issues of economy and tourism, he said that the situation will be re-evaluated towards the end of May, based on the latest epidemiological data from the partial opening of society and the economy. If all goes well then, he said, Greece will open for tourists from the beginning of July.

Referring to May 18 as a milestone date for evaluating the partial lifting of anti-pandemic restrictions, he said that the government may soon after allow tourists to travel to Greek islands.



After another squabble with Turkey about refugees on the border, Greece will lengthen a wall there by some 80 kilometers (49.

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