The “grand dame” of Athens has temporarily closed its doors due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a press release from Lampsa Hellenic Hotels, owners of the historic Grand Bretagne Hotel.
“It is with great regret at this point of time, but with even greater optimism for the future, that Lampsa Hellenic Hotels SA announces the temporary pause in operations due to the global coronavirus pandemic, of the Iconic Hotel Grande Bretagne and its sister hotel the historic King George,” the statement read.
“The Hotel Grande Bretagne, the ‘Grande Dame’ of Athens, and the most famous worldwide hotel of the city of Athens, has never closed its doors in 150 years.”
Meanwhile, on Greek streets, police patrol cars are using loudspeakers to broadcast messages in 10 languages to notify people of the new strict restrictions on outdoor movement.
The police announced that the broadcasts would be made in Greek, English, French, Arabic, Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi, Pashto, Farsi and Dari.
The recorded message warns people to stay home and informs them they need identification documents and special permits to venture outside.
Stringent restrictions on movement in Greece, which has a large migrant and refugee population, went into place Monday after Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced new, strict orders.
Citizens who cannot work from home are permitted to leave their homes. But others can only leave to buy food, exercise or visit the doctor.
All citizens must carry a government-issued identification card and a form listing one of the approved reasons to be out.
The government will accept only two types of permission documents:
1. Document A – relates to citizen circulation and is filled out once by the person going to work with name, home address, work address and shift schedule. This will be provided by employers.
2. Document 2 – is for trips not related to work and must be filled out by a citizen every time he/she wishes to leave their house. It must contain name, home address, destination and reason for circulation.
Violation of these rules will yield a €150 fine.
Government officials said the measures will remain in effect until April 6.
Other options for proving permission include a piece of paper and handwriting the required information.
Another option is to send a text message to 13033. In the body of the text, note any of six reasons (1 to 6), leave a space, add your name and then your home address (directions for this also to be found on forma.gov.gr).
Reasons to be listed on form:
2. Basic needs or supermarket that doesn’t deliver.
3. Bank if e-banking not possible.
4. Helping people in need.
5. Funeral, baptism, wedding or divorced parents’ visitation rights.
6. Outdoor exercise or pet walking.
Citizens may only exit their homes for the following eight reasons:
1. Going to and from work during work hours.
2. Going to a pharmacy or a scheduled medical appointment.
3. Going to a store for basic goods, when there is no home delivery.
4.Going to the bank if an online transaction is not possible.
5. Going to help out people in need.
6. Going to an event such as a wedding, baptism, funeral or such, in accordance with the law.
7. Going out to exercise or to walk a pet, and only singly or by two. In the latter case, keeping a distance of 1.5 meters between the walkers/runners.
8. Returning to one’s main residence.
Medical and nursing personnel, designated civil protection staff, security personnel and the armed forces have exemptions from the circulation ban.
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