News Local Archbishop backs lockdown extension

Archbishop backs lockdown extension

The Church of Cyprus will backs strict compliance with the lockdown aimed at containing the spread of coronavirus, Archbishop Chrysostomos assured President Nicos Anastasiades on Thursday.

Government spokesman Kyriakos Koushos said that the president and the archbishop had met at the Presidential Palace and discussed the government’s decision yesterday to extend the lockdown until the end of April.

As regards church services over Holy week the two agreed that it was up to the church to decide which churches will have services. No faithful can attend and all other relevant protective measures must be adhered to.

The two also agreed that it was up to the church to decide whether a special ceremony to mark the resurrections could be held on a later date, when conditions permit, so that the faithful can attend.

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The idea has been floated of the government declaring a public holiday on May 27 — on the eve of Ascension Thursday — so that the faithful can attend a church ceremony.

Experts have sounded a cautiously optimistic tone that the number of new cases in Cyprus has stabilised but warned against relaxing the measures, particularly over Easter.

In announcing the government’s decision the president had made a point of stressing that there would be no exception to the lockdown at Easter.

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