Masks, tests, batches: Locked-down Greece swears in Cabinet

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In this photo provided by the Greek Prime Minister’s Office, Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, left, talks with Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Ieronimos during a swearing-in ceremony of the new cabinet at the Presidential Palace in Athens, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021. Greece’s powerful Orthodox Church is rebelling against a government order to briefly close places of worship under a weeklong drive to tighten virus restrictions before the planned reopening of schools. The conservative Church’s ruling body issued a statement Monday directing priests to admit worshippers during indoor services for Wednesday’s feast of the Epiphany. (Dimitris Papamitsos/Greek Prime Minister’s Office via AP)

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece’s new Cabinet is being sworn in Tuesday at three separate ceremonies to comply with national lockdown restrictions.

Following a Cabinet reshuffle Monday by conservative Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, ministers were sworn in in groups of six, all wearing masks, and after receiving rapid tests for COVID-19.

A bottle of hand sanitizer was placed on a desk where ministers signed their oaths or affirmations.

A current two-month lockdown officially ends Thursday, but government officials say many restrictions will be extended to allow for a successful rollout of the coronavirus vaccine. The program started just before the new year and is being significantly ramped up this week.

Lockdown restrictions include a nightly curfew and a government-imposed stay-at-home order. Household members can only leave their homes using an itemized permission system available on mobile phones.

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