Sunday Masses to Resume Following New Protocols

1st March 2021.

My dear Brothers in Christ,

On the 8th January, 2021 I was forced to suspend weekend Masses for a second time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On Saturday, February 27th 2021 the National Emergency Management Office (NEMO) – the Health Services Subcommittee issued a release on the new protocol for indoor gatherings for houses of worship which is as follows:-

Phase #3:  Effect February 27, 2021 to March 27, 2021 – Mass gatherings

  1. Indoor gatherings in houses of worship – a maximum number of persons which is 1/3   the regular capacity of the place of congregation should be allowed. (For example a place of congregation which normally accommodates 90 persons with adequate spacing may only have 30 persons.)
  2. Temperature checks of all congregants should be done as they enter the venue. This function must be provided by the church. Any congregant found to have a temperature greater than 100.1’F MUST be referred immediately to the COVID-19 Hotline (534- 4325).
  3. Sufficient hand washing or hand sanitizing stations (at a recommended ratio of no less than 1:20 persons) should be available for the duration of the gathering.
  4. The venue should have sufficient space to allow for at least 3-6 ft physical distancing between congregants or personal bubbles, and the free movement of congregants.
  5. Facial coverings must be worn by all congregants and provided where necessary.
  6. To facilitate contact tracing:
  7. The church leader must record the name (ID verified) and contact number of each person entering the place of worship. This information should be securely stored for twenty-eight (28) days. The MOHWE will only access this information in the event that contact tracing involving the persons who attended the event is required.
  8. Adequate toilet facilitates with hygiene practices sufficiently maintained should be   available at all events.
  9. All food safety protocols must be strictly adhered to.
  10. Compliance with the Public Health Act of 2020 and the Environmental Health Services Act of 1991 is required.

I now direct that all Weekend Masses resume with immediate effect in accordance with the above-mentioned protocol.

Let us pray together for an end to this pandemic.

Please continue to keep safe.

Yours in Christ,

+ Gerard County,
Bishop of Kingstown.