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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 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”
Wim en Herman Voogd, 17-18/3