The First Minister has announced the Scottish Government’s intention to allow the reopening of churches in time for Holy Week and Easter, assuming no deterioration in the virus.

    • Places of worship are to re-open to the public on Friday 26 March.
    • The maximum attendance will be 50 for those churches that can accommodate two metre physical distancing (smaller churches may have reduced capacity).

Here is the full transcript of what the First Minister said today in parliament:
“The other careful change we feel able to make at this stage relates to places of worship. I can confirm that, assuming no deterioration in the situation with the virus between now and then, we intend to allow communal worship to restart from Friday 26 March. This is in time for Passover, Easter, Ramadan and the Vaisakhi. In addition, the limit on attendance at communal services will be increased from 20, which was the limit in place before lockdown, to 50 – assuming of course that a place of worship is spacious enough to accommodate that many people with two metre physical distancing. Now I know that the restrictions of communal worship have been really difficult for many people despite the quite exceptional efforts made by faith groups to reach out to their communities. This change, again, is relatively minor, it is proportionate and we believe that it can be achieved relatively safely but it will hopefully enable more people to draw strength, comfort and inspiration from acts of collective worship.”