Church lists ‘new normal’ religious protocols
The placing of footbaths in all churches and the mandatory wearing of face masks will become part of the “new normal” during religious services of the Archdiocese of Manila if the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) is lifted on May 15.
Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said in a seven-page protocol that all churches under the Archdiocese of Manila would become health conscious during the resumption of public masses to avoid the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Pabillo said that crowd control mechanisms would also be implemented to avoid congestion at public masses in all churches of the Archdiocese of Manila.
“Clearly mark the entrance and exit (doors) to the church so that incoming people will not meet outgoing ones. Have marshals who shall man the entrance and exit on Sundays to keep order,” Pabillo said.
“Each entrance and exit should have footbath container. There should be hand sanitizers at the entrances. These guidelines are given due to our extraordinary situation,” he added.
Pabillo said churchgoers who will be seen not wearing face masks will be provided with “low priced face masks” that should be worn inside the church premises.
He said marshals will also check the body temperature of the faithful before they will be allowed entry; they will also go around the church to remind the faithful of the social distancing measure.
“After the mass, the people would not be immediately allowed to enter so that the pews can be disinfected. A group of volunteers can be organized to do this. It can be called the ‘sanitation ministry’,” Pabillo said.
He said priests should allot at least 30 minutes gap in between masses before the faithful will be allowed to enter the church to give time for the sanitation activity.
Sunday mass will be limited in the Archdiocese of Manila, but more services will be held during weekdays to avoid congestion of the persons who will attend the masses.
Online Sunday masses will still continue.
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