The resumption of religious ceremonies officially authorized, but under certain conditions

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The resumption of religious ceremonies officially authorized, but under certain conditions


The managers of places of worship will have to ensure that barrier gestures, physical distance, or even the wearing of a mask are respected.



© Miguel MEDINA / AFP
In Italy, the faithful must wear protective equipment and respect distancing. Mass at the Dome of Milan, May 18, 2020.


Hand disinfection and mandatory mask, filtering at the entrance: the religious ceremonies will be able to resume this Saturday according to the conditions fixed by a decree published in the official journal and immediately entered into force. This text completes a decree of May 11 on measures to combat Covid-19 in the context of the state of health emergency.

The Minister of the Interior and the leaders of religions agreed during a meeting “on the measures to be taken to ensure the health security of all”, explained the ministry in a statement shortly before the publication of the decree.

READ ALSO >> Masks, gels, modified rite … how places of worship are preparing to reopen

This concertation was imposed on the government after the Council of State ordered him Monday to lift within a period of “eight days” the total ban on the meeting of cults contained in the decree of deconfinement May 11.

“If the objective of a generalized resumption of religious ceremonies remains on June 3”, reminds the ministry, “it will thus be possible (…) to celebrate again, gradually, offices” from the publication of the decree .

Respect for barrier gestures

The managers of places of worship and the organizers of ceremonies must in particular ensure that the faithful respect barrier gestures and physical distance, wear a mask and disinfect their hands. At the entrance to the place of worship, a person will also have to regulate the flows so as not to exceed a maximum attendance gauge.

The measures apply to “any person eleven years of age and over who enters or remains in these establishments”, according to the decree. “The prefects of the department may prohibit the opening or order the closure of a place of worship if these rules are not respected,” said the ministry.

READ ALSO >> Catholics, Jews, Muslims … how religions organized themselves in the face of confinement

“We have worked and found a solution to allow the resumption of religious ceremonies while ensuring the health protection of everyone”, welcomes Christophe Castaner in the press release.

The resumption of celebrations with the public was first announced for June 2, before the Prime Minister mentioned the date of May 29. The Catholic episcopate has been pushing for the past few weeks to make it effective for Pentecost Sunday, May 31.

Eid el-Fitr, the celebration of the breaking of the fast which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, will take place on Sunday, announced Friday evening the French Council of the Muslim faith (CFCM). This festival is traditionally celebrated with great collective prayers in the early morning. Before the publication of the decree, the CFCM reminded Friday that these prayers could not take place this time in the mosques.

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