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An Taoiseach Micheal Martin November 2020

Updated 22nd Dec 2020: Churches Can Open Again – Covid Level 3 Restrictions Re-introduced for Churches

Information Updated: 22nd Dec 2020

Just a quick update as a lot of people are contacting EAI right now with questions about church reopening.

Read Nick Park’s latest Updated Advice from HSE Concerning Singing in Church (22nd December)

Read Nick Park’s latest post on “Praise from the Heart – choral performances, choirs and congregational singing in Level 3 Covid-19 restrictions – a practical viewpoint on worship in Covid-19 times” (11th December)

As announced by the government tonight, churches can reopen next week.

EAI has received further information from the Taoiseach’s Office.

The media headlines say 50-person capacity, but the same protocol for larger buildings as before applies to zones of 50 so long as they are 4m apart and use separate entrances.

  • Services are to be limited to 1 hour, and where multiple services operate there is to be a 1 hour gap between services to allow for cleaning & ventilation.
  • Face coverings are now mandatory.
  • The latest guidelines from the HSE (updated 22nd Dec 2020) re Church services can be found here and includes some additional information about choirs and congregational singing.
  • The maximum number permitted at weddings or funerals will be 25 people.
  • 2 metre social distancing guidelines adhered to (members of the same household can sit/stand close together)
  • Where possible separate points of entrance and exit, clearly marked
  • No congregation by people outside the premises before and after any service
  • Stewards on site to assist in this regard
  • Travel for private prayer/church: If your usual or the nearest church is more than 5km away you may travel to visit for private prayer and church services. This information is verified on the Irish Independent website here. Please remember that EAI is not qualified or authorised to provide legal advice. We receive instructions from the Taoiseach’s Office which we share, and we glean information from various government websites and from ‘explainer’ articles in the national press. On this basis we share our understanding of how the Covid-19 restrictions affect churches and ministers.

Let’s continue to share Jesus in every way possible, and to observe all necessary public health measures. We all know what needs to be done to mitigate the spread of this virus, and we all have a part to play.

If you have any further questions about how these new regulations will affect your church please contact Nick Park at