The First Minister has announced new lockdown measures that will result in the closure of churches from Friday (08 January).
- Places of worship are required to close for worship, but can open for the purposes of leading an act of worship (broadcast or online), conducting a marriage or civil partnership ceremony or a funeral.
- Wedding ceremonies and civil partnership registrations can take place with a maximum capacity of 5 people (including the couple, the witnesses and the person conducting the ceremony, 6 if an interpreter is required), provided the venue’s capacity allows for 2 metre physical distancing.
- Funerals can take place with a maximum capacity of 20, provided the venue’s capacity allows for 2 metre physical distancing.
- Wedding receptions and post funeral gatherings such as wakes cannot take place.
- You must maintain a safe distance of 2 metres between people not in your household or extended household.
- Face coverings must be worn by those attending a wedding or civil partnership, except for the couple and the person conducting the ceremony. Face coverings do not need to be worn by the person leading a funeral service or by the person providing the eulogy.
- Christenings and other life events apart from weddings or funerals should not take place.
What the First Minister said today (04 January):
“A number of other measures will come into effect on Friday. It is with real regret that we consider it necessary for places of worship to close during this period for all purposes except broadcasting a service, or conducting a funeral, wedding or civil partnership. I am well aware of how important communal worship is to people. But we believe that this restriction is necessary to reduce the risk of transmission. While up to 20 people will still be able to attend funeral services, wakes will not be possible during January. And a maximum of five people will be able to attend wedding and civil partnership services."