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22.12.2020
An Taoiseach

Back Into Level Five

I apologise that some of you are receiving your 3rd or 4th email from us in as many days, but we promised to keep you updated of any changes in government restrictions.

The following communication has been sent to EAI from the Taoiseach’s Office:

Dear all,

Further to the Government announcement today regarding the move to Level 5, the following Religious Service restrictions apply:


Religious Services:

  • Christmas religious services may take place up to and including the 25thDecember 2020
  • With effect from the 26th December 2020 religious services will move online
  • Places of worship may remain open for private prayer

Funerals

  • With effect from the 24th December 2020 up to 10 mourners can attend

Weddings

  • Up to and including 2nd January 2020, up to 25 guests can attend a wedding ceremony and reception, whether indoors or outdoors
  • With effect from 3 January 2020, up to 6 guests are permitted to attend a wedding ceremony and reception, whether indoors or outdoors

Travel

Travel outside your county will continue to be permitted up to and including 26th December 2020. From 27th December you must stay within your county unless you need to leave for essential purposes, which includes:

  • to attend a wedding or funeral
  • to visit a grave

These measures will be reviewed on the 12th January 2021. 

Most of you have probably seen this announced already on national media. A lot of you will have anticipated that some such move was in the pipeline based on the worsening virus statistics and on what is happening elsewhere in Europe.

To clarify, Christmas Day is the final day that the government is permitting in-person church services.

Churches can remain open for private prayer, and it is our understanding that people can travel beyond the normal limits for the purpose of private prayer providing that they are doing so at the church that they usually attend. We also understand that church ministers are carrying out an essential service, and may still visit parishioners on compassionate grounds (obviously observing usual public health precautions).  We also understand that essential church workers can travel to a church premises to record or stream online services.  EAI would strongly advise that church ministers and church workers carry a letter from their designated church leader stating that they are carrying out an essential service.

These are difficult and frustrating times. I pray that we continue to radiate the joy of Christ as we make Him known. Let’s pray for our nation.

Your’s in Christ’s Service
Nick Park