Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece, the leader of all the Greek Orthodox faithful in the country, urged his fellow citizens to avoid large gatherings on the national holiday of OXI Day, October 28.
The Greek government has already cancelled the annual school and military parades which traditionally take place on OXI Day.
The holiday commemorates the day Greek Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas rejected Italian Dictator Benito Mussolini’s ultimatum to invade the country on October 28, 1940.
Many Greeks do not work on the holiday, and all schools are closed.
Archibishop Ieronymos urged Greeks to remember the historic day in a different way this year, considering the high risk of the virus, as it can spread quickly through large crowds when people do not practice the correct coronavirus protocols.
Greece has witnessed a sharp increase in cases of the coronavirus, with Wednesday’s record 865 cases broken just the next day, when 882 cases were recorded on Thursday.
The Archbishop noted the Greece is currently in a sensitive position in terms of the virus, and that any large ceremonies or gatherings could make the situation worse, putting the health of many at risk.