Irish churches and places of worship are expected to be exempt from the 50 person limit prescribed by the Irish Government for indoor gatherings from June 29.
On Thursday, the Cabinet met at Dublin Castle, in what could be its last meeting, to sign off on relaxing restrictions due to begin on Monday, June 29. The restrictions are being loosened as Ireland enters Phase 3 of lockdown exit roadmap.
The announcement will be welcomed by parishes and parishoners who have been preparing churches and places of worship assiduously for reopening. Earlier in the week Archbishop Diarmuid Martin had voiced his concern and disappointment that the fifty person limit might apply to religious buildings.
He said, ‘It seems strange that in a Church with a capacity of 1,500 people which has been scrupulously fitted out for conformity with social distancing and with clear indications about movement and interaction of people within Church, that only 50 people might be present, while we all see a situation in which large retail outlets brimming with people.’
Phase 3 limits 50 people gathering in indoor settings and 200 people gathering in outdoor settings. These restrictions are due to last until July 20 and the beginning of Phase 4.
From Phase 4 on July 20th, the limits will increase to 100 people indoors and 500 people outdoors.