2118 – Mount Athos closed from tomorrow 20-03 till March 30th for all visitors except workers and professionals

The Ouranopolis pier on 18-3 -2020 9.47 h: an almost empty Panteleimonos ship is leaving: no Athos-pilgrims boarded this morning

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19-03 Mount Athos closes tomorrow for all visitors except workers and professionals until March 30th.

___________________________________________________________________________________________Yesterday, 16th of March, a 50-year-old Italian pilgrim, who developed cough and fever, was transported from Chilandariou monastery to a hospital in Thessaloniki, causing alarm to the monastic community. Tests showed that he was NOT infected with the coronavirus. He had a seasonal flu.

the guesthouse of Chilandariou – 2017

The Holy Community recently discussed closing Mount Athos for pilgrims, but decided that this should not be done for “spiritual reasons” (source: kathimerini.gr: 16th of March 2020).

But the Orthodox Times wrote today (17/3):

” The cancellation of many diamonitirion orders, mainly of pilgrims from abroad, is currently reducing the risk of an outbreak, but the civil administration, the police, the port authority and monks remain on high alert.

What everyone agrees on is self-restraint and taking measures of sanitation and protection, while on Friday, March 28, a vigilance will be held in all the monasteries, as well as in the Temple of the Protaton in Karyes, for the sick and for the protection of the general population”

the Mount Athos hospital in Karyes

Wim en Herman Voogd, 17-18/3

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9 Responses to 2118 – Mount Athos closed from tomorrow 20-03 till March 30th for all visitors except workers and professionals

  1. Japetus says:

    It should be noted however that every pilgrim who is about to enter should contact again the monastery in which he is supposed to stay to reconfirm vacancy.
    As in whole Greece, people are requested to stay at home, so unless there is something really urgent, consider postponing your trip to mt.Athos.
    Some monasteries, Chelandariou and Vatopediou among them, have stopped accepting guests. At Karyes the police requests arriving pilgrims to promptly continue on their way to the monasteries and not gather in the area.
    Many cancellations and the boats sail almost half or less full…

    Please don’t underestimate the situation and don’t take unnecessary risks, both for you and for the fathers in mt. Athos..

  2. Vasílis says:

    Yes, Athos is locked down. Because the government has orderd so, till March 30 2020, at least: https://fanarion.blogspot.com/2020/03/blog-post_94.html?fbclid=IwAR1RqpA-mkp6zDe7lqYz6odn2XnEEAgHLuLzOiVrldaRenNszGmDNYRUsrQ

    • Japetus says:

      Vassilis, at the decree is clearly stated that especially for Athos, the governor of Athos is responsible for any action taken with prior notice of the holly community. So far no action was officially taken, Athos remains open, but individual monasteries have the right -and many already did so- to refuse accomodation to their guests.

      • Vasílis says:

        Yes, Japetus, maybe a I did read the decree too compulsory. Your first comment is also correct. And beside that; pilgrims from outside Greece have to go for two weeks in quarantine by entering Greece.

  3. athosweblog says:

    If I translate the article it says that the government forbids church services. I don’t read that it is forbidden to enter Athos. It will be a matter of time but no lock down yet. Or am I wrong?


  4. Vasílis says:

    No, Herman, I don’t think you are wrong by saying “no lockdown”, literally. But the effect of the measures taken by the Greek Government and the Ierá Kinótita (see also Japetus’ first comment!) will stop the supply of pilgrims,

  5. Vasílis says:

    Indeed, the Agion Oros stays ‘open’, but because of the Coronavirus, the monasteries will no longer receive pilgrims, said monks to to Ethnos: https://www.ethnos.gr/ekklisia/agio-oros/94675_agion-oros-anoihto-alla-den-dehetai-proskynites-logo-koronoioy

  6. Dimitris says:

    It is easy to enforce a ban of visitors to Athos, so that’s what should happen.

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