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Greece to scrap sms system, allow inter-municipality movement on May 3

The SMS system to <13033> to leave home during the lockdown in Greece will be scrapped and inter-municipality movement will be allowed again on Monday, May 3, when restaurants will reopen, media report on Tuesday.

Speaking to ANT1 TV, Digital Governance Minister Kyriakos Pierrakakis said “We are very close to abolish the sms system” for citizens’ movement between municipalities.

He added that the citizens will not be required to send an sms to visit restaurants and cafes as from May 3, when they reopen.

“The day that the sms will come to an end will be decided by the responsible vaccination committee or the Civil Protection Secretariat. Pierrakakis said.

The final decisions will be announced by the government in the coming days, he added.

So far inter-municipality movement is allowed  for “personal exercise” on weekends, for hairdressers, retail shopping, health reasons and work. People also change municipality to offer help at home for a person in need.

So what is left? Supermarket shopping and funerals… At least in Athens, residents also move from the suburbs (different municipalities) to the city center food shopping at the central market ahead of Easter…

Note that the night curfew during the Holy Week and Easter day has been shortened 10 pm to 5 am (from 9 pm in the last weeks) and will start at 11 pm on May 3.

PS it would be totally surreal to allow restaurant and cafe customers move without sms but expect the rest of people obtain sms-permission for other activities.

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13 comments

  1. Well of course. the tourists are arriving and the sms does,nt work on their phones.

    • Pannonian sailor

      Nice news for us Tourist, otherwise only the Dutch tourists known for visiting (free!) prison-like hotels would come.

      Really curious to see the lidl shopping tours and what happens after.

    • Tourists could use the printed documents or hand written ones, same as residents can?

  2. Personally I don’t have a problem with sending an SMS, it takes up about 5 seconds of my time, which I can afford. All I want lifted is the inter-municipality travel ban for supermarket shopping. Retail shopping without an appointment would be nice but not essential.

  3. Absolutely fantastic news!!!!! Now, please, please, PLEASE people, don’t mess it up for everyone by rushing out like idiots & going mad….

    • That’s alright sweet pea, you stay home and you’ll be perfectly fine.

      • Nobody is expecting everyone to stay at home, just not to go crazy. But hey, obviously you don’t care so go ahead, party on – & you’ll be the first one complaining when we’re all locked down again…

  4. > abolish the sms system” for citizens’ movement between municipalities.

    Are there any limitations for non citizens? And how is Greek police going to fine me, if I do not have a greek residence?

    • It’s all citizens, not just Greek – the system applies to everyone. But please, go ahead & test it..

  5. So what happened to November’s daily new infection target of 500 or less BEFORE Greece was reopened to tourism and what happened to vaccinating all inhabitants on tourist islands BEFORE we were inundated with possibly infected tourists ?

    • Mass vaccinations of islands with less then 10,000 permanent residents is set to be completed before mid May when Greece opens to tourism, but having an infection target of 500 or less was never going to be a reality.

  6. I don’t want to sound pessimistic but, with the number of infections rising, even before people are allowed to move around freely, with the millions of tourists expected, how do you think we will cope with the situation? At the end of the summer, we do not want to start a new six-month lockdown!

    • The number of reported cases on a 7 day rolling average has been steadily falling from a peak of 3075 for the week ending 5th April to 2442 for the week ending yesterday, a fall of 20% in around three weeks. Good not to be misled by a single day’s figures.