Thursday, June 20 2024

Government drafting more measures to curb Easter exodus

The Greek government was putting the final touches to a new plan to tighten controls even further to curb so-called unnecessary travel over Easter Week amid mounting concern among officials that many civilians may seek to flout restrictions and try to move from urban centers to the countryside or coastal areas, where they have holiday homes.

Since the beginning of the week, senior officials have been fleshing out the new plan. Apart from the doubling of the fines announced on Wednesday, the new measures will entail a gradual increase of police presence at toll stations on national highways. According to police sources, roadside inspections will also be intensified on roads off the main highway networks. ​​​​​​

What’s more, if necessary, police will also deploy surveillance aids such as drones or helicopters to better monitor the road network.

“We need to be aware that, apart from posing a threat to public health, moving from cities to the provinces could also cause social unrest as residents of the latter have publicly spoken out against such moves, fearing a spread [of the coronavirus],” a senior official of the Citizens’ Protection Ministry told Kathimerini.

The Health Ministry announced on Thursday that three more people had died due to Covid-19 complications, raising the total death toll to 86. There were also 71 new infections, bringing the tally to 1,955.

Health Ministry spokesman and infectious diseases professor Sotiris Tsiodras said 79 patients are intubated in intensive care units. Their average age is 67. He added that Greek health authorities have carried out 33,634 tests nationwide.