[WATCH] Face masks to be worn in church as masses will restart on 13 June

Archbishop Charles Scicluna announces that church masses will start being held from 13 June but mitigation measures will be in place to ensure social distancing

Churches will open their doors for mass as from 13 June
Churches will open their doors for mass as from 13 June

Parishioners will have to wear a face mask and have their temperature taken before entering the church when public masses restart on 13 June.

The decision was announced by Archbishop Charles Scicluna on Tuesday after a meeting of the Maltese Episcopal Conference.

Masses were stopped in March as part of restrictive measures introduced to limit the spread of COVID-19.

However, with government yesterday announcing a return to normality with the lifting of most restrictions by Friday, the church has chosen the feast of Corpus to start celebrating mass in public once again. The first public masses will be held on the weekend on the 13 and 14 June.

Scicluna said that the three principles of safety had to be adhered to – social distancing, wearing of masks or visors, and good personal hygiene.

The Archbishop said that all parishes were undertaking an exercise to determine the size of the respective churches and the adequate number of people they can hold to respect social distancing. The limit on the number of people will also apply to masses held in the open.

He said the congregation will have to wear a mask, preferably a visor, have their temperature taken before entering and will have to sit in designated areas.

People with fever or influenza-like symptoms will not be allowed to enter the church.

There will be no queueing for the Eucharist and instead priests will reach out to people. The host will be placed in the person’s hand and there will be no need for the individual to say amen.

The Archbishop said that the special dispensation given by the bishops, exempting people from the obligation to hear mass, will remain in force.

He added that the daily masses transmitted on TV will continue.

Scicluna said preventive measures to minimise risk of virus transmission were discussed with the health authorities.

Get the full list of preventive measures here.

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