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Friday, 6 November 2020

Locked down in Greece

At noon, Thursday 5th November, I sat, face-masked, in the Ano Korakiana baker's shop on Democracy Street, with Theodora behind her counter. I bought a cheese pie and ate it - temporarily unmasked with her permission - while watching the latest lockdown broadcast from the Greek PM, Kyriakos Mitsotakis. 
There'll be lockdown across Greece from 0600 Sat 7th November until Monday 30th November 2020. To get permission for various - 'essential' - activities out of the house I shall need to send an SMS from my mobile to 13033 (free of charge). I'll have to re-activate my Greek mobile as a friend, just returned to England from Ano Korakiana, has messaged me to say it's no good texting an SMS 0030 13033. "It won't work, as we found out with the earlier lockdown in the Spring"

My SMS, when it works, must list one of six activities followed by my name and home address in this format:

<X (1-6) space First name space Last name space Address>

1. Go to a chemist or visit a doctor.

2. Go to a supermarket or mini market if food cannot be delivered.

3. Go to the bank if EFT isn't possible.

4. Travel to help someone in need or to accompany underage students to/from school.

5. Go to a funeral or other ceremony.

6. Physical exercise outdoors or movement with a pet, individually or in pairs, observing, in the latter case, 1.5 metres social distance.

The authorities reply to my SMS with a one-off code for my selected activity. The reply on my mobile can be shown, if I'm stopped by the police. If I'm doing something different from the authorised activity I can be fined. I must also have ID/Passport with me. Masks are to be worn outdoors as well as inside shops and other spaces other than home. We may not visit anyone or travel anywhere if that activity doesn't fit in the 1-6 categories. - the same situation as for the strict Greek lockdown earlier this year. Justifying his decision with a host of statistics and charts demonstrating the impact of Coronavirus on Greece and the rest of the world, Mitsotakis said 'These figures are non-negotiable!" The little serf in me reacts with respect to such an assertive affirmation. 

Το Σάββατο στις 6 το πρωί ξεκινά το πανεθνικό lockdown και ο περιορισμός των μετακινήσεων. Οι πολίτες θα πρέπει πλέον να στέλνουν SMS στον πενταψήφιο αριθμό 13033 ή να έχουν ειδική γραπτή βεβαίωση.  

Please note that the use of a mask is mandatory everywhere with the exception of people exercising by themselves. I take this to mean that if I cycle - only a short distance from home of course - for exercise, I needn't be masked. It would make such 'exercise' easier. Ditto walking or jogging alone. I will have a mask swiftly to hand in case of encounters with another person while otherwise on my own with completed permit (and ID) to participate in activity number 6.

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The anniversary of the death of our neighbour, Adoni, will be celebrated on Saturday 7th November at Paraskevi Church at the foot of the village, a kilometer from our house. As Adoni was an officer of the police of Corfu Port there will be his colleagues present. We shall walk there. Our SMS permits will be requested:

5 (space) Simon Baddeley (space) Ano Korakiana

5 (space) Linda Baddeley (space) Ano Korakiana

Wes, our neighbour, has printed out several paper forms (Greek with English translation) for us. These  can be downloaded from the web, completed in writing, and taken with us if we go out. Mustn't forget to have passports or other IDs to hand.  

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Simon Baddeley