The Greek government may have announced the gradual lifting of lockdown restrictions but heavy fines will remain in force. The tariff is the same as for the violation of the movement permit during the lockdown: 150 euros. But this time, the amount will be paid by those who do not wear a mask where they should.
As of May 4, the use of mask is mandatory or strongly recommended in closed spaces such as hospitals, supermarkets and grocery stores, retail and other shops, public transport means and taxis, and especially in areas where there is close physical contact like in hairdressers, barbershops and beauty parlors and driving license schools.
Masks can be made of fabric or other material
Generally speaking, KTG understands that people should wear a mask in all indoor public spaces.
Following the good old practice of giving rather vague information, the official government website COVID19.gov.gr does not thoroughly lists the “closed spaces” or who is considered to belong to so-called “3rd age group”. It notes on the use of mask:
Compulsory for customers and workers in hairdressers, barbershops, beauty salons and all services presupposing close physical contact as well as for workers in supermarkets and grocery stores.
Strongly Recommended for workers and customers in all closed spaces (indoors) and public transport means
Seniors (strongly recommended for continuation of “Stay at Home”)
Masks can be currently purchased at pharmacies.
Speaking to state broadcaster ERT TV on Tuesday, Minister Aris Skertsos confirmed what media reported about the fine. “Yes, there will be fines where the use of mask is mandatory,” he said.
“We consider that social consciousness, the self-control of every citizen will lead to compliance. It is about everybody’s health and the health of the society,” he added.
Government spokesman Stelios Petsas told Skai TV on Wednesday morning that “control checks will continue, especially with regards to crowding.”
It should be noted that the new government slogan is “We Stay Safe” and has three pillars: Wash hands, keep distance of 1.5-2 meters, wear a mask.
Of course, the question that arises is the following: Professor of Infectious Diseases and spokesman of National Health Organization Sotiris Tsiodras was saying end of March that masks were only for those infected and still beginning of April was considering the use of mask by the general population “a mistake,” and “even dangerous” as it creates the illusion of protection from the coronavirus.
So, what has changed now?
It is should be noted that the prices for masks skyrocketed since the outbreak and from 0.30 euros went up to 1.50 euro for a simple surgical mask.
In this senses, when the use of mask is mandatory or strongly recommended and fines threaten those who can’t afford to buy one, it should be made available free of charge
It is worth mentioning that fines remain also for those operating business although not officially permitted yet (5,000 euros) and for those participating in gatherings over 10 people (1,000 euros.)
PS Rumors have it that when the pandemic is over, this Greek government will impose a 150-euro fine on …ice creams or chocolates or tyropites (cheese pies).
Others claim that the Prime Minister has a 150-euro solution for every Greek problem.