Public Worship Covid Update from July 5th

Update on June 9th from the Diocesan Covid Support Team

First Communion & Confirmation
 Celebrations of the Sacraments of First Communion & Confirmation may take place from July 5th, 2021.
 All of the Church Covid-19 safety measures must be followed.
 50 people may attend a First Communion/Confirmation ceremony but where the capacity of the
Church allows for a capacity greater than 50 then this is permitted subject to the usual measures which
includes the observance of social distancing guidelines and the subdivision of the church into sections
and no more than 50 people in each section.
 There must be no mixing of people between sections and the exit from the church should be
staggered.
 Any decision to schedule such ceremonies should take account of the Covid-19 situation in the local
community.
 Remind those attending such ceremonies that they are to adhere to prevailing public health advice on
household mixing and indoor and outdoor gatherings.

  • Organised Outdoor Events (Graveyard Masses)
     As and from June 7th, 2021 organised outdoor events may take place. 100 people may attend an
    outdoor event but where the capacity of the venue allows for a minimum capacity of 5,000 then 200
    people may attend.
     As and from July 5th, 2021 200 people may attend an outdoor event but where the capacity of the
    venue allows for a minimum capacity of 5,000 people then 500 people may attend.
     Event organisers must liaise with the Local Authority and an Garda Síochána in advance of any such
    event.
     Stewards must be in place to control entry and exit and to ensure compliance with social distancing
    requirements and mask wearing.
     Hand sanitisers should be available at all entry and exit points.
     Face masks must be worn by all those attending the event.
     Exit from the graveyard at the end of Mass should be staggered.
     Contact Tracing
    It is a requirement for an organised outdoor event that the contact details of those attending must be
    recorded and retained for a period of 28 days should contact tracing be required after the event.
    These details must be destroyed after 28 days so as to ensure compliance with data protection
    requirements. The easiest way to facilitate contact tracing is to make attendance at a graveyard mass
    by way of ticket only.
    Indoor Meetings
     Indoor meetings for Parish/Community groups or for other parochial activities may take place from
    July 5th, 2021.
     Social distancing must be strictly observed and hand sanitisers must be available at entry and exit
    points.
     Face masks should be worn.
    Funerals & Weddings
     50 people may attend a funeral or a wedding regardless of the size of the church.
     Social distancing guidelines must be adhered to.
    Baptisms
     Baptisms may take place but the numbers attending should be kept small and limited to immediate
    family members only.
     Related family gatherings should strictly adhere to prevailing public health advice on household mixing,
    including visitors to the home and indoor and outdoor dining.
     Any decision to schedule a Baptism should take account of the Covid-19 situation in the local
    community.
    Sacrament of Reconciliation
     The Sacrament of Reconciliation may be celebrated but the use of confined spaces such as confessional
    boxes should be suspended, and spaces closed off. Any alternative arrangement must be compliant
    with social distancing requirements.
    House Visits/First Friday Visits
     As and from June 7th, 2021 an unvaccinated household can have a visitor from one other unvaccinated
    household inside their home.
     As and from July 5th, 2021 you can have visitors from up to three other households inside your home.
     Vaccine Bonus – you can meet indoors with other fully vaccinated people from up to two other
    housholds or from one other household who are not vaccinated as long as no more than three
    households are there. You can do this without wearing face coverings or staying two metres apart.
     Please wear a face mask or face covering when visiting a vulnerable person or a person with an
    underlying condition.
     Remember to sanitise your hands on entering and leaving a person’s house.
    Diocesan Covid Support Team
    June 9th, 2021

 

Churches reopened for public worship Monday, May 10th, 2021.

Please note the following: –
Pods of 50
 A maximum of 50 people may attend Mass subject to the requirements of social
distancing. If the size of the church allows for a capacity of greater than 50 then
this is permitted subject to the following: –

 Social distancing guidelines must be adhered to.
 The church must be subdivided into sections, clearly marked and identified, and
no more than 50 persons are allowed in each section. Note: The church must be subdivided into sections, clearly marked and identified, and
no more than 50 people in each section.
 There must be at least 4 metres between each section.
 The church must be well-ventilated.
 Each section must have its own entrance and exit.
 Each section must have a separate communion station for the distribution of
Holy Communion.
 There must not be any movement of people between sections.
 At the end of Mass, exit from the church should be staggered.
 People should be reminded not to congregate on church grounds after Mass.

Singing

 Choir or congregational singing is not permitted at the present time.
 Solo singing with an accompanist is permitted in accordance with the HSE/HPSC
Covid-19 Guidance for Religious Services.

 Funerals

 Funerals remain private family events and the maximum number that may
attend a funeral is 50 people, regardless of the size of the church.
 Social distancing guidelines must be adhered to.
 Weddings
 The maximum number of people that may attend a wedding is 50 people,
regardless of the size of the church.
 Social distancing guidelines must be adhered to.
Page 1
 Baptisms

 Baptisms may take place but the numbers attending should be kept small and
limited to the immediate family members only.
 If more than one Baptism is taking place, ensure that each family is seated in
different and clearly marked out sections and there must not be any mixing of
families from different sections.
 Social distancing guidelines must be adhered to.
 First Communion & Confirmation
 First Communion & Confirmation ceremonies should not take place at the
present time. Further updates will issue on receipt of guidance from
Government and the HSE.
 Outdoor public worship is not permitted at the present time in line with Government
restrictions on organized outdoor gatherings.
 The use of religious premises for any other purpose, parochial activity or
parish/community meetings is not permitted at the present time in line with
Government restrictions on organised indoor gatherings.

Diocesan Covid Support Team
May 6th, 2021

COVID-19 UPDATE AND CLARIFICATION May 13th
An Garda Síochána has been in contact with the Diocesan Office following concerns raised with
them in relation to the numbers that may attend religious services and also offering guidance in
relation to end of year graduation ceremonies for our schools, in particular graduation
ceremonies for secondary schools.
PERMITTED ATTENDANCE (Pods or Sections of 50)
 For the celebration of Mass, no more than 50 people may attend subject to compliance
with social distancing requirements and other protective measures.
 Where the size of the church allows for a capacity of greater than 50 this is permitted
subject to the guidance already issued (see the Covid-19 Update May 6th, 2021 issued by
the Diocesan Covid Support Team).
 Note: The church must be subdivided into sections, clearly marked and identified, and
no more than 50 people in each section.
GRADUATION CEREMONIES
 The Department of Education has written to school principals advising that schools can
hold graduation ceremonies but that it will not be possible for schools to carry these
out in the traditional format. Schools must make every effort to avoid organising events
that could lead to unnecessary congregation of students or family members.
 Where Graduation Masses are taking place in school settings, they should be confined
to the individual class grouping and carried out in accordance with the school’s Covid-19
Response Plan and with all required protective measures in place. Family members
should not attend. Students and their families should be reminded that social events or
gatherings should not take place after the graduation ceremony.
 Graduation Masses may take place in a church provided that the Mass is confined to the
individual class grouping and no more than 50 people are in attendance, regardless of
the size of the church. Family members should not attend. Students and their families
should be reminded that social events or gatherings should not take place after the
graduation Mass.
 Schools should look at alternative ways to hold graduation ceremonies, such as
organising remote events by hosting virtual ceremonies for students and their families.
Diocesan Covid Support Team
May 13th, 2021