Policy responses for Greece - HSRM


Policy responses for Greece

1.3 Isolation and quarantine

On 16th March 2020, two villages in Western Macedonia, Damaskinia and Dragasia, were quarantined after several cases among their residents were confirmed. The entry and exit to and from the villages were banned, allowing only for medication and food supplies by medical and municipal staff.

On 30th March 2020, five more municipalities in northern Greece (municipal areas of Mesopotamia in Kastoria, Orestida, Nestorio, Xanthi and Myki) were placed on lockdown for a period of 14 days.

All Greek citizens returning from abroad were subjected to mandatory surveillance and isolation for at least 14 days. Flights were chartered in order to bring Greek citizens back from Madrid, Barcelona, Prague, the United Kingdom and other countries. Upon their arrival, travelers were transferred to a designated hotel (where all the hygiene instructions had been applied) for testing. In the event of a negative result, travelers were transported to their place of residence in Greece, where they had to remain isolated for 14 days under strict impromptu state surveillance visits. In the case of a positive result, they had to stay in the premises of the hotel for 14 days under doctor supervision and treatment (unless hospital care was required).

Citizens who did not abide with the quarantine restrictions, were fined 5,000 euros each alongside criminal charges.

A Roma settlement in Larissa (central Greece), with an estimated population of 3,000, was placed under strict quarantine on 9th April 2020, after several residents tested positive for COVID-19.  The 32-year-old man who first tested positive for the novel coronavirus had come into contact with at least 31 other residents. Of those, 17 had been tested by the evening of April 9 and 12 were found to be positive. After contact tracing was performed, a total of 20 cases were detected. The lockdown applied from 09.4.2020 at 23.00 to 23.04.2020. The local administration and the municipality undertook the supply of food and anything else which was deemed necessary.

On 12th June 2020, restrictions for the region of Xanthi in north-eastern Greece were imposed after 15 COVID-19 infections were reported in one day, while imposing a curfew on the village of Echinos, where most of the cases were traced. Residents of Echinos were prohibited from leaving their homes between the hours of 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. for seven days (12.06.2020 – 19.06.2020) during which time all primary schools and kindergartens were closed and the use of a face mask was compulsory in all public places. In the broader region of Xanthi the use of face masks was made mandatory in all shops and other businesses.

During the summer (tourist season), in the event of a confirmed infection in a hotel, close contacts of the case were transferred to a separate quarantine accommodation at the expense of the Greek state. Remaining guests could continue their holidays.