Author: Legal Center Lesvos | legalcentrelesvos.org | 30 March 2020
A nationwide ban on “all unnecessary movement” has been introduced in Greece, to prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, the national measures fall far short of the disproportionate restrictions imposed on the migrant community three days earlier – which have effectively facilitated their mass detention in camps where hygiene conditions are dire, and where few measures have been taken to prepare for, let alone prevent, an outbreak.
Restrictions on movement are a necessary response to the virus, when applied systematically and in combination with robust healthcare measures. In Lesvos, neither of these conditions are met.
Across Greece, those leaving their place of residence must carry a paper or send an SMS that indicates – from a set of reasons, including personal exercise, visiting the bank or going to the supermarket – why they are outside the house. Yet reasons that are valid across the country are, unsurprisingly, abandoned in favour of far stricter rules for migrants.