Govt asks for review on limit of people allowed to attend religious services

Govt asks for review on limit of people allowed to attend religious services
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The government is asking the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) to reconsider the cap on the number of people attending religious services It follows criticism from the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin who said as few as 1% of people would be able to attend mass in some parishes.

Next Sunday will be the last Sunday when religious services will not be allowed at churches and other places of worship.

Up to now, the pandemic had limited them to opening for private prayer only.

From Monday, June 29, groups of up to 50 people will be allowed to gather for prayer.

That limit is due to rise to 100 three weeks later on July 20.

But there has been criticism from the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Dr Diarmuid Martin, who has called the measures "strange and disappointing".

He says with some churches large enough to hold 1,500 in normal circumstances, they should be able to hold more than the current limits even with strict social distancing.

Now a government spokesman says "large churches can accommodate many more than 50 or 100" and it's asking officials NPHET to reconsider.

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