Just three weeks after Easter Sunday, which is celebrated on the same date by the Coptic Church, major Coptic monasteries announced that they would remain closed to visitors from tomorrow, at least until the Resurrection or even later, due to the COVID-19 resurgence in Egypt.
Authorities are sounding the alarm about the significant increase in cases in the last six weeks and some of the most important monasteries of the Coptic Orthodox Church are taking action, stating that the services will take place –at least until Holy Week– behind closed doors, that is, without the presence of the faithful or visitors.
The large Monastery of Saint Anthony in the Red Sea has announced that it will remain closed until further notice.
Other large Coptic monasteries in Egypt have announced they will open again to the public after Resurrection Sunday, May 2.
It should be noted that last year, the head of the Coptic Church, Patriarch Tawandros II, celebrated the Resurrection without the presence of believers in the monastery in the Nitria region, located between Cairo and Alexandria.
Egyptian Health Minister Hala Zayed said in a press conference on Thursday citizens had recently failed to comply with COVID-19 precautionary measures and urged them to take precautionary measures during Ramadan, which starts on April 13. She warned citizens to avoid family gatherings and other mass gatherings to curb the spread of the pandemic.