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Society

Thousands of COVID-19 Inspections, But Few Fines in Greece

ATHENS – Squads from the Hellenic Police (ELAS) are conducting scores of thousands of checks a day on individuals and businesses to make sure there's compliance with measures to control COVID-19, but handing out few fines.

ELAS officials said there were 44,871 inspections around the country on Sept. 27 but only 189 violations for failure to wear a mask or observe physical distancing,  without reporting whether it was because most people were obeying.

Officers also recorded 11 infringements of safety regulations by private businesses, three of which were ordered to temporarily suspend their operations but it wasn't said for how long or whether they were fined for violations that can be as high as 10,000 euros ($11,723.81.)

Some 56 people have been arrested but it wasn't said for what nor whether they were taken to court as the New Democracy government has been urging social responsibility that hasn't worked.

Police said they recorded 17,078 violations for the non-use of a face mask where mandatory or failure to observe physical distancing but didn't say why those people weren't fined as many continue to defy or ignore the measures.

Cases in Greece have been soaring since August as the government is reluctant to order another lockdown for fear it will cripple an economy staggered by a first 10-week shutdown in March that saw many businesses shutter for good and others struggle.

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