Police set up roadblocks ahead of Easter to prevent mass exodus

Greek police have set up checkpoints along the highways leading from Athens to enforce the travel ban due to the coronavirus tightened for Orthodox Easter on May 2.

Easter holidays in Greece are traditionally celebrated with relatives outside of Athens and other cities, but the government believes the Covid-19 infection rate remains too high to allow such a trip.

The first attempts of citizens to escape from the city were made last Friday and Saturday, but the police were on their guard, only for delaying Saturday and deploying back over 300 vehicles.

“Citizens should be aware that in connection with the onset of Easter, intensified inspections are being carried out around the clock at points of exit from the city, which will continue throughout Holy Week. All documents submitted to the police by citizens will be carefully checked “, – emphasize sources ΕΛ.ΑΣ.

Caricature by Elias Makris – we are taking a “gift” to the village.

According to the police, over the past 24 hours (from 6:00 am on Holy Tuesday April 27 to the same time on Holy Wednesday April 28), 13,633 vehicles have passed through the payment points (diodes) in Elefsina, and 12,423 vehicles have entered. At the same time, 2 violations were confirmed, the drivers of 170 cars were deployed in the opposite direction.

As for the national road Athens-Lamia and especially the point in Afidnes, in the last 24 hours, 17,567 vehicles left and 16,651 vehicles entered. 2 violations were confirmed, 47 cars were returned to the city.

The authorities remind once again that movement with a justification “due to a state of health” is allowed only in the public health structure, which must be certified by a document of the structure itself.

Also, movement is allowed only for a one-time trip to the place of permanent residence, to a funeral, to visit by divorced parents (not living together) children. Moreover, in all cases, citizens must present the necessary documents.

It has been clarified that the use of a travel certificate used for business purposes and E1 for a one-time departure to a permanent place of residence is not allowed.

Last year, the churches were closed, but this Easter they will allowed to remain open for worship this year with restrictions on the number of parishioners in buildings, as well as mandatory Covid-19 testing for priests and church staff. The main Easter service next Saturday will be three hours early at 9:00 pm due to the imposition of a curfew, while the government encourages parishioners to stay outside.

Additional travel restrictions are in effect until May 10, with travel between different administrative regions of the country only permitted for certain work reasons, emergency medical care, funerals of close relatives, and parental visits for divorced and separated fathers of children under 18.

The pandemic has claimed the lives of over 10,000 people in Greece. Most of the restrictions, including the closure of schools and shops, have been in effect since early November, when the death toll was still below 750.

Services for the country’s vital tourism industry will open on May 15, and many restrictions have been lifted by that date.

Shopping malls reopened last Saturday, and from May 3, restaurants and cafes will be allowed to serve customers sitting outdoors.

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