Greek Civil Protection Deputy Minister Nikos Hardalias on Friday said there would be no extra Covid-19 restrictions for the upcoming three-day Clean Monday public holiday.
Clean Monday (Kathara Deftera), also known as Ash Monday, is the first day of Great Lent in the Greek Church and falls on the seventh Monday before the Orthodox Easter. Greeks tend to celebrate it with trips and outdoor activities, especially by flying kites.
For the past week it was rumored that the Greek authorities would impose stricter lockdown measures for the Clean Monday holiday on March 15 – as was the case for Christmas and New Year holidays – in order to limit crowding in public spaces.
However, the deputy minister clarified that there would be no special regulations for Clean Monday and that the rules already in place would apply as usual. This includes following curfews and requesting permission to go outdoors via SMS.
“We will fly a kite but only in our neighborhood,” the deputy minister said, reminding that citizens are allowed outdoor movement strictly within their municipality or in a distance of 2 km from their place of residence while following social distancing measures, avoiding crowding and wearing masks in all outdoor areas.
Moreover, Hardalias reminded that movement between Greek prefectures (domestic travel) continues to be banned (except for health and work reasons).
Greek health authorities on Friday announced 2,405 new coronavirus cases – 1,137 found in Athens-Attica alone – and 49 deaths. Since the start of the pandemic, the total number of cases in the country has reached 217,018 with the death toll now at 6,986.