NewsLocalCoronavirus: 8998 SMS service back in operation

Coronavirus: 8998 SMS service back in operation


The 8998 service where members of the public can send a text message so as to be able to leave the house by way exception is back in operation.

Deputy minister for innovation Kyriakos Kokinnos said that the system was back at 730 pm on Wednesday.

The system was launched at 6 pm yesterday when the new decree imposing a near lockdown came into effect, but broke down after 30,000 message requests within 30 minutes.

Officials suspended its operation and asked the public to use the documents or sign a solemn declaration until the issue was was resolved.

It is now back.

In announcing that the service is back, the deputy ministry clarified that

  1. The reason must be a single number from one to eight
  2. The ID or passport must be letters and numbers (maximum 10) and no special features
  3. The postal code must be four number

It has also removed the maximum three hour time that was previously cited. It now says that movement will be permitted for a reasonable period of time depending on the purpose for which permission is granted.

When is permission given and instructions for Sending SMS

The SMS can be sent from your mobile phone to the number 8998 without any charge.

The SMS must have the following format:

space ID or passport number space postal code

Χ stands for the purpose of movement with the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 corresponding to the following reasons:

  1. Visit to a pharmacy, blood donation center or a doctor
  2. Visit to a store to buy essential goods / services.
  3. Visit to a bank provided that electronic transactions are not possible.
  4. Absolutely necessary visits to government services or services of the wider public sector and local government
  5. Movement with the purpose of assisting people who are unable to serve or protect themselves or who are in self-confinement and / or compulsory confinement (quarantine)
  6. Movement for physical activity or for the needs of a pet, alone or in a group of no more than 2 persons and in areas adjacent to their homes
  7. Movement with the purpose of attending a ceremony (eg funeral, wedding, christening) of first and second degree relatives not exceeding 10 persons
  8. Movement for any other purpose which may be justified under the prohibition measures

After sending the message, citizens will have the right to move for a reasonable period of time depending on the purpose of the movement for which permission is granted.

After sending the SMS, a reply will be received in the following format:

ΟΚ space Χ space ID or Passport number space Postal Code space Permit expiration time
In case of a police check, citizens should show the SMS along with their ID or passport. In addition, the Police will be checking for possible misuse of the SMS service to the number 8998.

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