The Greek police plan a crackdown on violators of the current coronavirus measures on New Year’s Day, according to a statement by a Hellenic Police spokesperson on Wednesday.
More than 10,000 police officers will be deployed throughout the country for the New Year’s Day holiday in order to ensure compliance with the measures for preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus. The restrictions will be similar to those imposed during Christmas, but the spokesman said that the new police checks will be more intensive.
“Of primary importance is to not lose at New Year all that we managed to gain at Christmas,” Hellenic Police spokesperson Theodoros Chronopoulos said in statements to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency on Wednesday.
“We must celebrate responsibly and with moderation, taking care and staying healthy,” he added.
Normal curfew will be in effect during holiday
The restrictions will begin at 10:00 PM on New Year’s Eve, with a curfew lasting until 5:00 the next morning except for reasons of health, work and to walk household pets, the police said.
During this time, traffic may be interrupted and stopped on major roadways, both in Athens and in other large cities, in order to check any and all vehicles on the road, without exception.
In order to go to New Year’s parties, citizens must send a code 6 SMS to the 13033 number (or carry paper document equivalents) in order to leave their homes — and a second in order to return.
Gatherings in private homes are restricted to nine people, with police empowered to enter homes in the presence of a public prosecutor if there is a complaint. Violations carry a 3,000-euro fine for the host and a 300-euro fine for each person present.
The police will also enforce the rules against gatherings in public spaces, such as squares, public transport and centrally-located streets.
Send Code 6 SMS for church attendance on New Year’s Day
Restrictions will also apply to church attendance, with one person permitted per 15 square meters (161 square feet) up to a maximum of 25 in ordinary churches and up to 50 in cathedrals, while masks will be mandatory at all times.
Church-goers must also send a code 6 SMS or carry document equivalent in order to visit any church.
Police said that a total of 140,000 inspections were carried out on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, with citations for 3,300 violations and ten people arrested.