Greece: Orthodox worshippers in masks lined up at churches for Good Friday Epitaph Mourning

Worshippers lined up at churches across Greece on Orthodox Good Friday as the government kept pandemic restrictions in place through the Easter holiday while preparing to restart services for tourists. Due to the restrictive measures, the procession of the Epitaph was planned to take place only inside the courtyard of temples and not at main streets with huge processions as usual. Crowds of believers attended Orthodox Good Friday Epitaph Mourning wearing masks and keeping their distance in order to watch the event. Seating restrictions were put on church services and priests had instructions to get tested daily for Covid-19, while police maintained checkpoints along highways to enforce a domestic travel ban. Many restrictions in effect since early November will be scrapped, however, starting Monday, when restaurants and cafes will be allowed to serve customers outdoors. Tourism-related businesses and services are set to start operating again on May 15. Orthodox churches use different reference dates to calculate when Easter occurs, which can be up to four weeks later than the holiday marked by other branches of Christianity. Easter processions set for late Friday in Greece will have limited attendance and mostly take place on church grounds, while Saturday night services will start earlier due to curfew restrictions.