Soaring temperatures in Greece will peak at 38 degrees Centigrade on Easter Sunday, with record highs.

The warmer central and southern regions will enjoy summer temperatures usually reserved for August, the peak of summer.

Despite travel bans, a huge exodus was noted out of Athens, as Greeks rushed to take advantage of the rise in temperature and leave city centres for a traditional “Easter in the village”.

Huge traffic delays were noted at toll gates in Elefsina and the Attiki Odo Highway, with police checking most travellers, bearing in mind that inter-regional travel isn’t allowed without SMS permission.

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“Cars are being checked and people without the proper documentation (to justify non-essential travel) are being turned back to Athens. Our inspections will take place daily and around the clock,” Giorgos Yiaseranis, a police official in charge of highway security, told reporters.

Churches were closed last Easter but will be open for this year’s services, with seating restrictions and mandatory use of COVID-19 test kits for priests and church staff. Tomorrow’s service will be held three hours earlier, at 9:00 pm due to curfew measures, while worshippers are being advised by the government to remain outdoors.