Greeks must text authorities for permission to leave home during lockdown

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Greeks looking to leave their home during a nation-wide lockdown that started last Saturday will first need to text authorities for permission.

According to the New York Post, new measures implemented to curtail the spread of COVID-19 went into effect at daybreak on Saturday and people will only be allowed to leave their homes for a handful of reasons — to go to their job, to exercise or for medical appointments — and only after sending a text message to authorities.

Sky News reported that other valid reasons for being out are to take children to school, walk their pets and visiting people who need assistance.

“We must stop this wave,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said last week, according to the Post. “I chose once again to take drastic measures sooner rather than later.”

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In texting authorities, citizens will need to give their name, address and reason for wanting to leave their house. Once outside, they will be required to carry ID and paperwork detailing their reason for not being home, if they are unable to text.

Primary schools will remain open while high schools will teach remotely. Most stores will be closed, with only stores selling essential goods — food medication and gas — remaining open.

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The border will also stay open but visitors from outside Greece must show proof of a negative test for the coronavirus.

This lockdown, which is expected to last three weeks, is the second for Greece, which has seen 54,809 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 749 deaths.