Religious services cancelled

The Greek Deputy Minister for Civil Protection and Crisis Management announced that all activities, including religious services for the 14th/15th August Feast of the Dormition of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a major festival time in Greece, will be cancelled this year.  This emergency measure was necessary due to the enormous number of people who celebrate this major feast day and attend the many festivals associated with the Feast.  This ban also extends to fairs and night-time entertainment including the usual religious processions of the evening of 14th and on 15th August.  This difficult decision was made following advice from the Greek Committee of Infectious Deseases and the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece, regarding the banning of religious events, processions and festivals throughout the country.

The present ban on standing in bars, nightclubs and music venues will be extended until 31st August, with a ban on all summer bazarrs, fairs, concerts and live events until further notice.  New emergency measures include the closing of bars and restaurants at midnight, along with the suspension of all catering services and wedding parties.

Greek scientists warn that the country is now facing a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic as cases have spiked in August, especially among the younger generation, as seen on the nearby island of Poros.  Health Minister Vasilis Kikilias stated that the average age of those who became ill in August has dropped to 36 years.  Kikilias noted that this happened because younger people think they are invulnerable, and are failing to adhere to the safety precautions.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis pointed out the importance of personal responsibility, urging young people to take care of themselves.  He stated "you are not invincible and mostly not invincible are your own parents and grandparents".

In addition to the present restrictions on Poros, the authorities on the islands of Spetses, Mykonos and Santorini have been warned to control the annual 'party culture' by young people during the Summer months, or face being locked-down.