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Mount Athos is opening up for pilgrims

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Mount Athos is gradually returning to normalcy, as from Tuesday, May 11, the Orthodox Christian monastic community will be pilgrims, and visitors under certain conditions.

According to a decision of the deputy director of the Holy Mountain, the issuance of only special dormitories with a maximum number of people per day is allowed, while the movement of pilgrims between Monasteries will not be allowed during their stay at the Holy Institution.

Visitors will still be compelled to undergo Covid-19 checks with a rapid test at the ports of entry of Mount Athos (Ouranoupolis, Tripiti, and Ierissos) at each incoming.

Athanasios Martinos, the civil administrator of Mount Athos, said there have been very few positive cases for the virus so far from testing, speaking to Grtimes.gr. As the site reports the cases within the Mount have been contained, as has happened in the rest of the country.

According to Mr. Martinos, the first pilgrims are already arriving in the Athonite State, who, apart from the rapid test, which they undergo at the entrance gates, do not need to undergo a pcr test or present a vaccination certificate. As he emphasises, some monasteries inside do not yet receive visitors, which is why those interested are advised to contact the Holy Monasteries for their hospitality.

Mount Athos is a mountain and peninsula in northeastern Greece and an important centre of Eastern Orthodox monasticism. It is governed as an autonomous polity within the Hellenic Republic. Mount Athos is home to 20 monasteries under the direct jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople.