Catholic Diocese: Churches can lift mask and social distancing requirements next month

Ohio News

Catholic celebration of mass (Getty Images)

CLEVELAND (WJW) — Beginning next month, Catholic churches will be loosening their pandemic restrictions.

According to the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, face masks and social distancing no longer will be required in churches on June 2.

However, diocesan leaders do encourage those who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 or are considered vulnerable to the virus to continue wearing masks.

They also remind parishioners to show respect to those who choose to continue wearing a face mask and practicing social distancing.

Additionally, the use of all seating areas, holy water fonts, liturgical processions at the beginning and end of liturgies, offertory processions and offertory collections will now be permitted.

Officials also stated it will no longer be necessary for churches to maintain the deep cleaning procedures that were adopted last year.  However, a general cleaning of the church and other public places should take place on a regular schedule, with special attention given to high-touch surfaces.

Hand sanitizer will remain available at church entrances.

The diocese’s announcement comes about a week after officials stated the general obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation would be reinstated during the weekend of June 5.

Additionally, the diocese’s decision to lift pandemic restrictions coincides with the lifting of Ohio’s statewide COVID-19 health orders which are slated to end on June 2. Governor Mike DeWine says Ohio businesses and schools will make their own decisions about how to best keep their customers, employees and students safe.

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