Guidance from the Government on Church Religious Services

Guidance for religious services

From Department of the Taoiseach

Published on 

Last updated on 

Special concession for Places of Worship to reopen for religious services at Level 3, from 1 December, in light of the upcoming Christmas period, to be reviewed in January.

This will allow for up to 50 worshippers to attend services with the following protective measures:

  • 2 metre social distancing guidelines adhered to (members of the same household can sit/stand close together)
  • wearing of face coverings
  • where possible separate points of entrance and exit, clearly marked
  • no congregation by people outside the premises before and after any service
  • stewards on site to assist in this regard

Additional measures to be put in place to address overcrowding, to include scheduling additional services, increased stewarding and an advance booking system, where necessary.

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 4 metres between sections
  • each section having its own entrance/exit route
  • there are separate arrangements for elements of the service involving close contact, for example the distribution of Holy Communion
  • strictly no movement of people between sections before, during or after the service
  • the premises is well-ventilated

Duration of service

Services should not exceed one hour (this includes entrance and exit times) with at least one hour between services to allow for cleaning and ventilation and to avoid crowding/overlap.

Choirs (as part of the service), chanting and congregational singing

Specific guidance on this will be provided.

Funerals and weddings

Numbers permitted at these events remains at 25 (as per Level 3) for ceremony and reception.

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