New 'Dark-Red' Restrictions

There will now be a 'Dark-Red' zone added to the original Red and Yellow zones introduced in Greece on 30th January.  Joining Attica in the new 'Dark-Red' zone will be Thessaloniki, Achaea, Arcadia, Korinthia, Argolida*, Larisa, Lefkada, Fthiotida, Thesprotia, Arta, Samos, Boeotia, Chios, Evia, Rhodes and Heraklion.  Due to the progression of the Covid-19 virus in Greece, the rest of the country is now considered Level B 'Red' by health officials, indicating an increased Coronavirus risk.  Daily cases of Covid-19 have continued to rise in Greece, as the country recorded 2,703 instances of the virus on Wednesday 3rd March, the highest number of cases diagnosed so far in 2021.  The evening curfew of all 'Dark-Red' zones will start from 7:00pm until 5:00am.  These new measures are expected to last until 16th March.

Deputy Minister for Civil Protection, Nikos Chardalias, announced a series of new Coronavirus measures that will start on Thursday 4th March 2021.  These new restrictions further limit the movement of Greeks as the country tries to suppress a rapidly increasing transmission rate amongst its citizens.  Since the beginning of the 2nd nationwide lockdown in November 2020, Greeks have had to send an SMS** to a toll-free number declaring their purpose for leaving home.  From now on, every region of the country, regardless of transmission risk, citizens leaving their home for essential purchases and bank transactions will be limited to shops and banks in their immediate neighbourhood, within a 2km radius.  Additionally, those people who go out for exercise must only do so on foot or on a bicycle.  Therefore, those who drive to a certain area for exercise will be in violation of the restrictions.

There has been a spike of Covid-19 cases in the Ermionida area, originally including two school teachers in Kranidi and Ermioni.  Further testing in Ermionida area has shown a large number of positive results found in people showing no symptoms of the virus.  Within days, the number of virus cases in Ermioni alone had spread to double figures from the original single school related case.

With Covid-19 infections, hospital admissions and intubations continuing to rise despite restrictions, the government announced on Friday 12th March 2021 the closure of all schools nationwide.  More regional units of Halkidiki, Evrytania, Ioannina, Metsovo, Kilkis, the islands of Lesbos and Skiathos, and Hania in Crete were also put into the 'Dark Red' zone category, the top tier of restrictions.  All 'Dark Red' zone restrictions will continue in the original regions for a further ten days, until Monday 22nd March.

*Argolida was originally placed in the Level A 'Yellow' Zone on Saturday 30th January 2021.  

**SMS to 13033 should be formatted as follows:

X (one of the digits 1-6 corresponding to the activities below), name, surname and address.

1)   Visit to a pharmacy or visit to a doctor/vet if necessary

2)   Visit to a supermarket or stores for essential supplies

3)   Visit to a bank if e-banking transactions are not possible

4)   Visit to people needing assistance or escorting children to and from school

5)   Attending a funeral, as per the conditions provided by the law, or visiting children in case of divorced parents

6)   Physical exercise outdoors or up to two persons taking their pet for a walk, while always observing a 1.5-metre distance.