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Churches in Greece to reopen for individual worship on May 4

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In a public address to the nation, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced that churches will be open for individual worship from May 4. The Prime Minister also announced that the faithful will be able to participate in the Divine Liturgy from May 17, should Greeks follow restrictive measures.

Kyriakos Mitsotakis thanked Archbishop Ieronymos of Greece for his understanding and cooperation of the situation.

“The experience of this year’s Easter was not easy for any of us. It turned out, however, that it was necessary for everyone,” the Prime Minister of Greece said in his public address on Tuesday.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announces the country’s plan of emergency from a nationwide lockdown imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in the Maximos Mansion in Athens, Greece, April 28, 2020. Greek Prime Minister’s Office/Dimitris Papamitsos/Handout via REUTERS

Greek Government spokesperson Stelios Petsas also acknowledged and thanked the Church for taking full responsibility of the issue at hand, making the “tough decisions” when required.

“The faithful followed the advice of both the church and the state and, fortunately, we have done extremely well so far in this as well,” Stelios Petsas added.

Mr Petsas affirmed that while congregations for the divine liturgy will be reintroduced on May 17, the faithful must follow the strict rules to be introduced.

Read More: Greece plans gradual relaxation of lockdown measures

“I must reiterate that this will be implemented, always with the aim of protecting public health and as long as personal hygiene and distance measures are observed,” Stelios Petsas finalised in his public address to journalists on Tuesday.

Greece has so far registered 2,566 coronavirus cases including 138 deaths, much fewer than many other European nations, thanks partly to the swift imposition of its lockdown on March 23.

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