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Society

Greek Cop Squads Clearing Public Areas During COVID-19 Crackdown

September 23, 2020

ATHENS – Greek police teams are moving into public squares and gathering areas to keep people from collecting, drinking and partying with night clubs required to close at midnight to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

That comes as the New Democracy government on Sept. 21 extended the requirement to wear masks to outdoor public areas, which will be in effect for at least two weeks but a second lockdown could be brought if spiraling cases aren't controlled.

The police squads are using bullhorns and sirens to disperse crowds of mostly young men and women gathering at public squares in popular parts of the city as the government also said it may require street kiosks to close at midnight so people couldn't buy liquor there.

Police are focusing attention in nightlife districts such Exarchia, Pangrati, Gazi and Kypseli in central Athens, as well as in the suburbs of Kallithea, Nea Smyrni and Agia Paraskevi, where after-midnight crowding was reported, said Kathimerini.

Police have been sweeping the capital and conducting scores of thousands of checks daily and issuing fines of 150 euros ($175.69) for individuals violating health protocols and 10,000 euros ($11,721.40) for businesses, some of which are closed temporarily.

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