Greece to go on total lockdown: prime minister

Measure being introduced to stop irresponsible people who are endangering lives of others

Magda Panoutsopoulou   | 23.03.2020
Greece to go on total lockdown: prime minister


Greece will impose a total ban on public movement as of 6 a.m. Monday to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Sunday in a televised address.

The measure is being introduced to stop irresponsible people who are endangering the lives of others, Mitsotakis said.

“The state is obligated by the constitution to care for the health of its citizens and to intervene when the exercise of individual freedom surpasses its constitutional purpose and threatens society. And when a person proves to lack responsibility, then public interest must be safeguarded," he added.

Exempted from the ban are people going to and from work, going out to buy food and medicine, visiting a doctor, a person who needs care and those who either exercise alone or in pairs or are taking their pet out for a walk. Also exempted will be state officials, security and medical personnel and staff from civil protection, health services, security forces and the armed forces.

People should have with them a police ID or passport at all times, also a paper stating and verifying their purpose of movement through their employer or if they are self-employed a personal cognizance document.

Violators will be fined 150 euros ($160).

"In Italy, one person dies every two minutes," Mitsotakis said, "and the situation is getting worse throughout the world. It is my duty not to allow our country to go through such a trial."

Referring to the tragic choices of doctors running out of hospital beds in Italy, he said: "We must not get to the point where we decide who will live and who will die. I only choose one thing: the lives and health of Greeks."

Greece has so far has recorder 15 deaths while a total of 94 new cases were recorded on Sunday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases of the virus to 624.

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