Exiting Level 5: Churches re-open in time for Christmas

Leinster Express Reporter

Reporter:

Leinster Express Reporter

Level 3: Churches re-open in time for Christmas

Aughavas Church

Tomorrow, Tuesday December 1 churches and all palces of worship will re-open as Ireland exists Level 5.

Minister for State at the Department of Health Frank Feighan welcomed the recent announcement saying, “After working hard on this issue, I am delighted to learn that Church services across the country can reopen once again from tomorrow morning. This has been a very dark and difficult time for the faith community, and I am sure that this news will be welcomed by everyone involved. 

“The restoration of the opportunities to worship, whilst very modest in comparison with what we have been accustomed to doing in this country for centuries, will no doubt lift the spirits of the people in my own church community at this special time of year.

Church services are limited to 50 people unless the size of the premises allows for a greater capacity, 25 people at a funeral and 25 people at weddings.

Guidance has been published for religious services which states:

  • Two metre social distancing should be adhered to;
  • Face coverings should be worn;
  • No congregation outside the premises before or after a service should be allowed
  • Stewards should be on site to ensure guidelines are followed;
  • Measures should be put in place to avoid overcrowding such as an advance booking system;
  • Services should not exceed one hour, with at least one hour between services to allow for cleaning and ventilation.

The government has also said it will issue specific guidance on choirs, chanting and congregational singing.