Please see below the relevant press release highlighting the latest State guidance for `Places of Worship’.
Places of Worship
Detailed Covid-19 Guidance has been developed for religious services. The Cabinet Committee reviewed the guidance, which state that an assessment should be carried out for each premises to determine how many can attend within the requirements of social distancing.
The Cabinet Committee decided that where the size of the premises allows for a capacity of greater than 50 this may be permitted only where:
- Social distancing guidelines are adhered to
- The premises can be subdivided into distinct sections (cordoned or marked appropriately) of not more than 50 persons in each section
- There is a minimum of 4m between sections
- Each section having its own entrance/exit route
- There are separate arrangements for elements of the service involving close contact, e.g. the distribution of Holy Communion
- Strictly no movement of people between sections before, during or after the service
- The premises is well-ventilated.
Account must also be taken regarding the risk of congregation by people outside before and after any services, having regard to outdoor overall limits on mass gatherings and arrangements for staggered exiting after ceremonies
The use of face coverings is strongly recommended for such indoor settings.
I welcome this news warmly this evening. It will give a great boost to parishioners across the diocese who are looking forward to attending Mass in our churches. I pray every blessing on us all as we move forward, step by step, guideline by guideline and learn to navigate the curves of the COVID-19 virus. These gradual moves forward are slow and gentle and this is necessary for the safety of all.