Part 2: Corona sitiuation Crete

The current situation and events concerning coronavirus in Crete and Greece.

Daily updates on the corona situation on Crete here on CreteTip !

Admission controls in supermarkets
Admission controls in supermarkets in Crete.

Next part: Coronavirus evolution on Crete since March 27, 2020.


March 26, 2020 (Thursday):
Two more corona patients in Heraklion: 20-year-old Albanian and a 40-year-old who had entered from Great Britain. This brings the total number of cases registered in Crete to ten (one of which was taken over by an Italian cruise ship on 21 March).
In total today, 71 new cases (to 892, of which 830 are active and 53 are serious) and five deaths (to a total of 27, including a healthy 46-year-old army officer).

A total of 5,824 people have been quarantined so far, either because they had potential contact with sick people or had entered the country, 825 of whom had completed the quarantine.
There have been 1,116 inspections and 92 people who were supposed to be in quarantine were found outside the house, fined with 5,000 euros and prosecuted.

March 25, 2020 (Wednesday):
On today’s Greek Independence Day (Revolution of 1821), 78 new corona falls (a total
821, of which 770 were active and 53 serious illnesses), and 2 more deaths (altogether now 22) were reported.

One of the two fatalities is the German professor Dr Andreas Hilboll who had recently arrived infected from Germany for a lecture at Heraklion and thus the first corona death on Crete. He probably assumed that the fever was caused by a common virus and misjudged its significance and therefore did not postpone his trip to Crete.
The head of PAGNI reports, the 42-year-old suffered from shortness of breath on March 23rd while he was admitted to hospital in intensive care. Yesterday and this morning his health had improved, but a few hours later he had a pulmonary thrombosis which was fatal.
The case is very worrying in Crete, as both his age and the fact that he had no underlying diseases seem to change the data of the most vulnerable groups for Covid-19.
Achilleas Gravani, Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Crete, remarks on television in Crete that ‘depending on the genital background of the patient, the virus and younger age may be at risk. Recent data suggest that the virus may be able to enter the central nervous system, leading to events associated with encephalitis. It is also likely that the virus enters through the olfactory bulb, causing some people to lose smell and taste. ‘

As Mr Chalkiadakis said in PAGNI, no one is considered to be cured of the coronavirus. Released patients are under house arrest.

 most valuable commodity
The currently most valuable commodity for a good part of mankind is still abundant on Crete.
March 24, 2020 (Tuesday):

The Greek airline Aegean Airlines suspends all flights until April 30th.
Information and wording on the curfew and exit permit are now also available in English.
The opening hours of the food retail shops are now
– Monday through Friday from 07:00 to 21:00 hours.
– Saturday from 07:00 to 20:00; Sundays closed.

Two more deaths caused by the coronavirus in Greece (total now 19). 48 new corona patients (to a total of 743, of which 694 are active and 35 severe cases).
A 20-year-old returnee from Great Britain eighth Corona case in Heraklion.
Today 44 violations of the traffic ban in Crete, 766 throughout Greece.

SMS to announce the leave
SMS to announce the leave with reason no. 6.
March 23, 2020 (Monday):
The easiest way to announce an exit during the lockdown is to send an SMS to the free number 13033. The message is formatted as follows:
[reason number] [name] [last name] [street and number] [postcode and city]
The possible reasons are:
[1] = necessary visit to a pharmacy or doctor.
[2] = shopping in supermarkets, grocery stores, petrol stations etc.
[3] = bank (if e-banking is not possible).
[4] = help for other people.
[5] = attending a funeral, wedding, christening or moving children of divorced or separated parents.
[6] = taking a pet out or sporting activities/walks by a maximum of two people, who must keep a distance of 1.5 metres.

confirmation from the number 13033
You will then receive confirmation from the number 13033, which you must show during an inspection.
After sending the SMS, you will receive a confirmation and this SMS must be presented together with an identity card/travel passport in case of an inspection and also with a driving licence if you use a motor vehicle.

You can also download, print and fill out your going out vouchers for employees or self-employed persons here. (Confirmation from the employer required).

This form is available for the private reasons [1] to [6] listed above.
In the first line, the first and last name, in the second line the date of birth, in the third line the address and in the fourth line the date/time of movement.
Then one of the reasons [1] to [6] must be ticked and finally the place, date and signature must be noted.

Only two persons are allowed to be in a private vehicle. The stay in parks, groves etc. is prohibited. Flights from and to Great Britain and Turkey will be discontinued. In the meantime 250 persons are arrested for violations of the Corona measures in Greece.

Today 71 new corona cases (to 695, including 659 active and 35 serious diseases), two new deaths total 17.

March 22, 2020 (Sunday):
Corona cases in Greece increased by 94 to 624 (590 active, 18 severe courses), two more deaths to a total of 15.

Greece announces the lockdown as many city residents have tried to move to their summer homes in the countryside or islands in recent days. In order to prevent the coronavirus from spreading, an extensive curfew will apply from tomorrow, Monday:

If a citizen wishes to leave the house, he or she must carry a completed form and his or her identity card or passport with him or her or report the exit by SMS, with the possibility of monitoring the movement of the mobile phone.
This must indicate which pharmacy, petrol station, supermarket or other supply shop in the vicinity, a doctor or health care institution, for family reasons or to help other people or children. Sporting activities or the walking of a dog are also provided. Finally, the declaration can also be used to visit a public authority or go to work (employer’s certificate) or to make an urgent move.

The police authorities etc. will check this and the penalty for a single offense is € 150. Where, how and in which languages the form can be accessed (also online) is not yet known.

March 21, 2020 (Saturday):
Crete is a good example for the containment of the coronavirus, as there are only a small number of diseases at the moment. It is assumed that the epidemic lasts 2 1/2 to 3 months and that Greece is only in its first month.

Today the number of corona cases in Crete has increased to six, as one person each was added in Heraklion and Sitia. 17 tests were performed on Crete today.
Throughout Greece there were 35 new cases (to 530, of which 498 were active and 20 severe) and three more deaths (to now a total of 13).

Ferries in the port of Patras.
Ferries in the port of Piraeus.
March 20, 2020 (Friday):
Only residents with a permanent residence are allowed to use ferries to the islands from Saturday onwards, in order to prevent residents of Athens from spreading the coronavirus across the Aegean Sea, where there have been few cases so far.
Ferry services will continue to be maintained, but only for permanent residents, goods and necessary services and for those who wish to depart from the islands.

Today 31 new cases (to 495, 467 active and 20 of them serious) and 4 deaths (in total now 10). Four corona infected people registered in Crete.
Public markets will be closed, only one person per 15 m² area in supermarkets will be allowed.

March 19, 2020 (Thursday):
Leaving the house is only allowed for: going to work, visits to the doctor, shopping in grocery stores, visits to the post office for absolutely necessary mail, bank, gas station, help for people in need, exercise or sports outdoors (individually or in pairs with a required minimum distance of 1.5 m), exit with pets.

46 new corona cases in Greece (to 464, of which 16 are severe cases and 19 are considered cured), 1 more fatalities (total now 6).

March 18, 2020 (Wedenesday):
The majority of retail stores in Greece will have to close. Only the following will remain open: supermarkets (opening hours from 7 am to 10 pm, Sundays 9 am to 5 pm; however, only one shopper per ten square metres of space is allowed), pharmacies, basic shops such as bakeries and butchers, etc., kiosks and mini-markets, petrol stations, banks, food delivery services of restaurants, delivery and postal services, car and bicycle repair shops, pet shops, opticians’ shops and mobile phone shops.
The police have already arrested 150 people who had opened other shops despite the ban.

Non-EU nationals not resident in Greece are not allowed to enter the country after 6 a.m., with few exceptions (diplomats, family reasons, important work or transport). Quarantine may be ordered for all others, especially British citizens. All foreigners and tourists in the country should restrict their movements as much as possible and may leave the country before the end of the 14-day quarantine period.

Alexis Papahelas, the editor of the largest Greek daily newspaper Kathimerini, has also been infected with the coronavirus and is in quarantine.

Greece prohibits all gatherings or meetings of more than ten people.
According to Health Minister Sotiris Tsiodras, all states will soon report only the serious cases, which will make it difficult for observers to get an overview of the infected portion of the respective population.

31 new cases in total to 418, of which 79 are in hospitals and 13 in critical condition. No further deaths (5 so far) and the total number of reported corona infections in Crete remains at 3 (stable since March 13).

March 17, 2020:
Corona cases up by 35 to 387, one fatality.
New campaign of the Greek tourism industry: ‘Till Then, Stay Safe’ encourages people to plan ahead and stay at home safe for the moment.

March 16, 2020:
This Monday, the Greek government is considering a general ‘lockdown’, as in Italy and Spain. The country is about 14 days behind the development in Italy, where the lockdown took place a week before. If they want to make things better here, they only have one week left.
During the day, public transport in Athens will be reduced and two towns in the Kastoria area of northern Greece will be completely sealed off, quarantined and a curfew imposed.
The Greek Government announced new measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus, including the closure of shops from Wednesday and the quarantine of all foreign visitors arriving in the country for a period of two weeks.
The number of reported corona infected persons increases only slightly to 352 persons (+21).

Here to Part I: Information and worldwide spread of the coronavirus and the development until 15 March 2020

Further information

Information from the Greek Ministry of Health on Coronavirus in Greece (English)
Official Greek information site on coronavirus (Greek)
Forms and instructions for leaving the house (English)

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