Cities -incl. Rethymno- announce wave of carnival cancellations, following Health Minister’s order

Piraeus was the latest large municipality in Greece to officially announc the cancellation of carnival celebrations, following an order by Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias for the cancellation of all carnival events through Clean Monday (March 2) after a third case of coronavirus, or COVID-19, was confirmed on Thursday.

The cancellation follows similar announcements by Athens, Patras and the Region of Attica.

In Patras, a port with major connections to Italy, Mayor Kostas Peletidis said that the cancellation, a “primary obligation, following scientific directives”, nevertheless “gave rise to bitterness, anger and disappoinment in city workers who put a lot of effort (…) in preparing for the top carnival of Greece.” He added that a carnival will be scheduled for the last week of June. It will celebrate the new base of the Patras carnival, the refurbished complex once holding the city’s slaughterhouses.

Prior to an official announcement for the city, the Association of China-Greece Investors had addressed a letter to Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyiannis calling for the cancellation of the Athens festival “because of the emergency and dangerous state” and expressed “great regret but concern over the COVID-19’s spread.”

The largest Chinese association in Greece also said it had made a gift to Wuhan 7 hospital in China, “to show our fellow nationals our practical support in this great difficulty.”

Business losses

The Finance Ministry is working out a plan to support businesses who are facing losses from the cancellation of all carnival events in Greece, sources said on Thursday.

Following an order by Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias, carnivals are banned through to Clean Monday, March 2, for fear of helping the spread of the COVID-29 coronavirus, which has been confirmed in three Greek carriers at hospitals in Athens and Thessaloniki so far.

Other sources said the State Accounting Office is already reviewing the cost of the coronavirus repercussions and how they may be dealt with.

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