Church opening guidelines: When will churches reopen? What are the rules?

Boris Johnson announced today the two metre social distancing rule will be scrapped from next weekend, in order for businesses to get back to work. He also listed a number of services that will be allowed to reopen on the same date, and this included places of worship.

When will churches reopen?

The Prime Minister, keen to get as much business as possible operating again, is easing lockdown rules once again.

From next Saturday, July 4, an array of public spaces and businesses will open their doors to the public after three months of closure.

Places of worship were on this list, so churches, mosques, synagogues and more will be reopening next week.

Rules will be in place, though, to keep everyone in the building safe from the virus.

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Places of worship in England have been open for individual prayer since Monday 15.

The Government website says: “This move recognises the spiritual and mental health benefits for people being able to pray in their place of worship, and that for some people this cannot be replicated by praying at home.”

Now, new rules mean places of worship can open for group worship.

However, there is a limit to how many people can be in the building at once.

What are the rules?

While religion plays a huge role in the lives of many Brits, places of worship won’t be free of social distancing rules.

They will be open for prayer services, with a maximum of 30 people allowed in the building at one time.

Singing services will still be banned, due to fears of spreading the virus through droplets.

Additionally, weddings will be allowed to go ahead with no more than 30 guests.

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How will social distancing work in places of worship?

With the two metre rule being reduced to one metre where the former is not possible, social distancing is going to be a little easier for everyone.

In places of worship, social distancing rules will need to be followed.

For example, priests might have to dole out holy communion from behind a perspex screen.

The ritual of priests offering wine to worshippers will be scrapped, too, with priests drinking all the wine themselves.

More specific guidelines will follow and may vary from one place of worship to another.

What can open from July 4?

A full list of establishments that can open from July 4 includes:

  • Hotels, hostels bed and breakfast accommodation, holiday apartments or homes, cottages or bungalows, campsites, caravan parks or boarding houses
  • Places of Worship
  • Libraries & Community Centres
  • Restaurants, Cafes and Workplace Canteens
  • Bars & Pubs
  • Cinemas
  • Bingo Halls
  • Theatres and concert halls, but no live music
  • Museums and galleries

What can open from July 4?

A full list of establishments that can open from July 4 includes:

  • Hotels, hostels bed and breakfast accommodation, holiday apartments or homes, cottages or bungalows, campsites, caravan parks or boarding houses
  • Places of Worship
  • Libraries & Community Centres
  • Restaurants, Cafes and Workplace Canteens
  • Bars & Pubs
  • Cinemas
  • Bingo Halls
  • Theatres and concert halls, but no live music
  • Museums and galleries

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