The Holy Community of Mount Athos decided to ban pilgrimage visits until the 30th of November 2020 in order to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
In an announcement sent to the monasteries, issued following a meeting held on Monday, the Holy Community states that the visits of lay pilgrims will not be allowed, with the exception of a minimum number of employees and associates of the monasteries, only upon presentation of the invitation by the monastery. An employee or an associate will be allowed to visit only the monastery that issued the invitation. It is also forbidden to go from one monastery to another. Furthermore, monks from Mount Athos will have to present an exit permit issued by the monastery.
In addition, a vigil and a prayer will take place throughout Mount Athos from Friday afternoon until Saturday morning for the eradication of the coronavirus pandemic. It will take place in accordance with the coronavirus precautionary measures. Finally, a procession of holy relics and icons will also be held.