Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria, Head of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church, led the Easter Monday mass at the Monastery of Saint Bishoy in Wadi El-Natrun, located northwest of Cairo.
The Church allowed three archbishops and 26 bishops to attend the mass amid strict precautionary measures against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Easter Monday is known as Sham El-Nessim and marks the day after the Christian Orthodox Easter. Egypt is seeing a third wave of the pandemic, with daily tolls recording over 1,000 new cases since last Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health and Population ordered for all hospitals nationwide to remain on alert ahead of the Sham El-Nessim celebrations.
Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad ordered the closure of central nature reserves during the holiday. In several governorates, including Alexandria, all public parks and beaches were closed as a precautionary measure against the coronavirus, to avoid gatherings.
On Saturday, Pope Tawadros II led Easter mass at St Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo’s Abbasiya district, with limited attendance.
The Christian Holy Week, which marks the breaking of a 55-day fast, has been disrupted due to the pandemic for a second year now, with attendance limited to Church officials in order to curb the spread of the virus.
Several Coptic Orthodox monasteries banned visits up until Easter due to the spike in coronavirus cases. Masses and congregational services were halted during Holy Week and Easter in several governorates, over the same concerns.