The Catholic Archbishop of Ireland Eamon Martin has said he is very confident that measures put in place by parishes and support teams will allow churches to reopen safely.
It will be a collective responsibility, he told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland.
For two months clergy had been working with support teams in parishes on plans for the safest ways to worship together, he added.
Such measures will mean extra cleaning and security, but churches should only be reopened if these checks are in place said the Archbishop.
Social responsibility and community partnership will keep everyone safe, he said. There was a general acceptance that the government’s recommendations and guidelines were for the public good, for priests and ministers.
“As it goes on we are hopeful that the restrictions can be relaxed further,” he said.
"People don’t have to go straight back to worship in a church, they should take their time.
"In the meantime, online services will continue and are likely to continue in the future so that people who cannot attend can still feel part of the service of worship."