Greek health Ministry officials announced a three-week extension to the existing Coronavirus lockdown that is currently in place that prohibits citizens from going outdoors without permission.
“Difficult weeks lie ahead… If we relax our efforts, the virus will destroy us,” Nikos Hardalias, Deputy Minister for Civil Protection, said during the daily briefing.
The Ministry’s Spokesman, Sotiris Tsiodras, reported nine deaths since yesterday, bringing the total in Greece to 68 deaths, while 60 new confirmed cases were reported, bringing the national total to 1,673.
The government is very concerned that the public will ignore travel restrictions and flock to the countryside and islands during Orthodox Easter, which falls on April 19.
Hardalias said there would be “zero tolerance” for those trying to bypass restrictions.
The merchant marine ministry has already announced that only permanent residents would be allowed to travel to the islands, where there are far fewer cases than the Greek mainland.
The government has also said it could introduce tighter controls at highway toll booths to prevent automobile traffic to the countryside.
“No transit is foreseen from urban centers to villages… this is not allowed. If it is necessary to close toll booths this will be done too,” Government Spokesman Stelios Petsas warned.
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