Church buildings in Germany are reopened with out a handshake
(Photo: Unsplash / AC Almelor)
Churches in Germany were allowed to reopen this week to ease Federal restrictions on meetings in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
Although many churches held personal services on Sunday, there were various contact restrictions given the concerns surrounding the spread of COVID-19. According to the UK Independent, these measures included refusing handshakes and singing, since it is believed that both can help spread the virus.
The Cologne Cathedral, a prominent church that had an average of 20,000 visitors a day before the pandemic, held a small service, which was limited to 122 participants.
Chancellor Angela Merkel has approved the reopening of museums, playgrounds and small businesses in addition to places of worship.
"We have to work on further reducing the number of new infections," said Merkel, as the Independent reports.
"If the infection curve becomes steep again, we need a warning system to be able to recognize and act early."
In April, the Catholic Church in Germany announced that it would lift a ban on personal worship, although certain social distancing requirements would be maintained.
Prelate Karl Juesten, a church lobbyist, said in comments to the German Catholic publication KNA International that certain contact restrictions would remain in place.
"In particular, rules must be set so that no one can be infected by the singing," said Juesten, as KNA reported in April, adding that communion would also be affected.
"It is critical that the community's reception remains dignified while taking into account the need to protect people from infection."
Germany is not the only country to start easing the restrictions on mass assemblies that have been adopted in response to the spread of the corona virus, and has taken some precautionary measures as a precaution.
Last month, Reuters reported that South Korea allowed megachurches and professional sports venues to host events, despite the fact that social distance rules were still being followed.
For example, the Onnuri Church in Seoul restricted access to its 3,000-seat sanctuary to 700 pre-registered attendees who received certain seats.
Some churches in the United States have also been reopened, including the Fellowship Church in Texas, which only filled 25% of their sanctuary.
However, other nations were more reluctant to lift such bans. For example, Greece has decided to maintain a ban on personal services while easing restrictions on other groups.
The Greek Orthodox Church opposed this, and the spokesman for the metropolis Nafpaktos Hierotheos sent a letter of complaint to the government.
"What do you really think the Church is?" explained Hierotheos, as reported by Voice of America. "Do you see it as another supermarket or a union or a nail and hair salon?"
Courtesy of the Christian Post.