Places of worship in England can reopen for prayer and services, including weddings with a maximum of 30 people, from 4th July, the Prime Minister has announced.
Speaking to the House of Commons on Tuesday, Boris Johnson said: “I know many have mourned the closure of places of worship, and this year Easter, Passover and Eid all occurred during the lockdown.
“So I’m delighted that places of worship will be able to reopen for prayer and services, including weddings with a maximum of 30 people, all subject to social distancing.”
Cardinal Vincent Nichols welcomed the news, saying: “As Catholics we now look forward to being able to celebrate Mass together again from 4 July. We have waited with patience and longing for this moment, understanding the importance of protecting the health of people in our society. Now we are full of anticipation that we will be able again to take part together in the Eucharist, which lies at the centre of our faith.”
The cardinal added that bishops would distribute “detailed guidance” on the resumption of Mass. “It is important that we continue to abide by the guidance, given by the Government, on appropriate social distancing and the other measures to avoid all unnecessary risk,” he said.
“Our own detailed guidance will be distributed around dioceses and parishes so everyone can be confident that they may come to Mass securely and understand the part they are to play in protecting each other from any remaining risk of infection.”
The Prime Minister announced a broad lifting of lockdown restrictions from 4th July. As well as a resumption of public religious services, pubs and restaurants will be able to reopen, as will hotels, museums and barbers, with appropriate sanitary and social distancing measures.
Places of worship have been allowed to reopen for private prayer since last Monday.