Update on Face Masks in Church

Face coverings will be mandatory in Places of Worship from Saturday 8th August 2020.
All those who are attending churches must wear a face covering unless they are exempt from doing so. This is for the good of all who gather in the Church for Mass as it is an enclosed public space where there are people from differing households who they do not normally meet.

Priests in the sanctuary providing they are sufficiently distant (2m or more) from the congregation do not need to wear a face covering except when distributing Holy Communion.

Those going up for Holy Communion should unloop their face covering at the Altar rail and consume the Sacred Host and then replace the face covering before moving back to their pews in an orderly manner.

Concerning enforcement, the advice is that this cannot be done by stewards or members of communities, just as it is the case in shops. Public Health officials have been given extra powers to enforce the wearing of face coverings in public spaces with fixed penalty charges. However, their approach is to educate rather than penalise, and this approach would be sensible in the case of church communities.



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