Saturday, May 15, 2021

Churches in Austria Allow Singing Again and Relaxation of Restrictions on Church Services




In the run-up to the opening steps by the federal government on May 19, Austrian Minister of Culture Susanne Raab agreed on Friday with all churches and religious communities to adapt the existing agreement for the holding of public church services. The previously existing protective measures (mandatory wearing of FFP2 masks, a minimum distance of two meters between the believers and sufficient disinfectant) continue to apply. In the future, liturgical chanting, which is important in the context of worship, will be possible again, provided appropriate security measures and in a reduced form, as before the lockdown.
The Catholic Church, said the Bishops' Conference, will adjust its framework for the celebration of public church services in the next few days. 

Accordingly, from May 19, congregational singing will be possible again, but this must "be reduced in terms of its duration and scope". Choir singing in church services is only possible if evidence of a low epidemiological risk is provided. When singing, a distance of at least two meters must be maintained, whereby the FFP2 mask requirement is not applicable. For the rehearsals of church choirs, the same provisions of the COVID-19 opening ordinance apply as for associations, said Leichtfried, who referred to the website of the choir association.
 Due to the new legal relaxation, the number of people in the cemetery is no longer limited.
The new Corona regulations will also apply to the feast of Corpus Christi (June 3), continued the liturgy bishop. "When the weather is good, it is possible to celebrate the Eucharist outdoors. Processions are only possible if it is ensured that a distance of at least two meters to other people who do not live in the same household is maintained at all times," says Leichtfried. He pointed out that the FFP2 mask requirement still applies to outdoor worship services.

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