NEWS

Government, Church close to compromise over Easter services

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The Greek government and the country’s Orthodox Church are close to reaching an agreement on how to mark Easter in about two weeks, allowing services to be held outdoors with social distancing, according to information.

The issue was discussed during a meeting earlier on Monday between Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Archbishop Ieronymos. 

The proposal foresees that worshippers will be allowed to participate in the procession of the Epitaph on Good Friday, which will be held around churches instead of venturing into surrounding streets. On Easter Saturday, the Resurrection service will be heald earlier, instead of midnight. 

On the other hand, it is rather unlikely that the government will allow travel between regional units in the week leading up to Easter – when many Greeks traditionally travel to other cities and villages to celebrate – as health experts have warned that travel could create dozens of outbreaks in the Greek countryside which will be difficult to stamp out. 

Authorities are also concerned about recent incidents of overcrowding in city squares, indefiance of the health rules.