Since the corona pandemic started at the beginning of 2020, it seems the entire world uses daily the words ‘quarantine’, ‘lockdown” and ‘virus’.
Even in Greece, they use the English word “lockdown”, and the Greek word ” karantina” – καραντίνα, which is easy to remember!
The Greek word for “virus” is “ios” – ιός, but be careful, do not confuse with “jos” – γιός, which means ‘son’!
It was hard to imagine a lockdown at first, but after 8 months of dealing with the Covid-19 virus, nobody is surprised anymore.
It is incredible how fast we can get used to another reality, even if we do not like it…
Although in Greece the pandemic was less dramatic than in other European countries, the measures are sometimes more strict than elsewhere.
Because of the many islands, remote villages, and many areas without hospitals, the Greek government wants to prevent at all costs the spread of infections to those areas.
it was one of the reasons why traveling within the country was forbidden from March till June, and once again restricted from November 7th, 2020.
You need to stay at your “official address” and within your municipality, so for those Greeks or foreigners owning summer houses in the country side, it is not possible to travel there.
Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule, so read more details below.
2nd Lockdown in Greece, as of November 7th, 2020
The summer months went well in Greece. Everybody could work, travel, tourists came to visit, the sun was shining, and everything looked nearly like other years, apart from less tourism, face masks and many covid-tests in the airports.
Although everybody was hoping a 2nd lockdown could be avoided, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced that Greece will enter a second national lockdown from November 7. (for three weeks.
Because of the rise in hospitalizations, incubations, and the number of patients in Intensive Care Units. doctors and the Greek government are asking people to stay at home and to remember that the situation is critical. (as of today, 715 people died of corona in Greece, which is of course much less than other European countries, but a significant rise compared to the summer)
The following activities are still allowed:
going to work,
visiting a doctor,
shopping for food or medicine,
leaving home to help older family members,
going out for exercise (maximum of two people together) and dog walking.
Kindergartens, primary and all-day schools will continue to operate.
Individuals who plan to go out of the house or hotel, are required to carry an ID or passport with them,
and inform the authorities of the reason for leaving their house.
Here is how:
- Filling-in a form, which you can find on the government website gov.gr. (in Greek)
- Sending an SMS to the number 13033 , writing your name and a number from 1 to 6.
(Those numbers represent the reason why you want to get out of your house, see below)
So, if you are in Greece at the moment, and you need further details, then you can find everything at the website forma.gov.gr.
It is essential to be diligent and careful to avoid fines (150 euro) and needless inconvenience.
But do not worry, it is actually much easier than it looks.
By using the numbers 1,2,3,4,5,6 in your SMS, you can still have a “normal daily life” 😉
Here below the translation in English of how to send an SMS to the Greek Government
- Create a new SMS message to 13033(free of charge).
- In the body of the message write the code number that corresponds to your reason for going out (see below), your full name, and address.
Your message should look like this: Code number (space) Full name (space) Address.
The code numbers for going out during the lockdown are as follows:
- Leaving your home for health reasons. Namely, going to the pharmacy, visiting a doctor, or going to a hospital or health center– if it is deemed necessary after communicating with your doctor.
- Leaving your home to go to the supermarket/mini-market if home delivery isn’t possible.
- Leaving your home to go to a public service office if electronic or telephone service is not possible.
- Leaving your house to help people in need, transfer a spouse or first-degree relative to and from work, or accompany a student to and from school.
- Leaving your house to attend a funeral, under the conditions provided by law, or for the transition of separated parents, which is necessary to ensure the child’s communication with the parent.
- Leaving your home to do some physical exercise outdoors or to walk your dog, individually or in pairs, provided that a safe distance of 1.5 meters is observed. Leaving your home to feed stray animals, provided that the transition is within the municipality of your residence.
Transportation to Greece and within Greece
Travel by plane
Greece’s airports will remain open to domestic and international travel, as well as the country’s land borders, but restrictions will be in force.
Click here for more information.
Traveling within Greece, between prefectures, is only allowed for:
returning to permanent residence (proof of residence, such as the tax form, will be required)
family reunification, business reasons or health reasons
Travel by public transport, ferries, taxis, and private cars:
Public transport: 65 percent capacity
Ferries: 65 percent capacity
Taxis: Only one passenger is allowed (a second person is allowed to accompany a passenger in need or small children)
Private cars: Only 2 people, including the driver, are allowed per private car (underaged children are excluded from the rule)
More detailed updates and daily information can be also found in English at