Monastic community extends visitor ban until April 20


The administration of the Mount Athos monastic community in northern Greece decided on Wednesday to continue prohibiting the admission of pilgrims and other visitors until April 20 as part of the measures against the coronavirus epidemic.

The only people excluded from the measure are employees and other “necessary professionals” the administration said.

The all-male monastic community receives tens of thousands of visitors a year and March is the first time it is known to have taken a decision to bar their entry.

The decision is in keeping with the recommendations of the government, which seek to restrict public gatherings and the possibility of outsiders bringing the highly infectious virus into the community of 20 monasteries whose population stands at around 2,000.