Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church has announced new regulations and health and safety measures to be enforced at all religious gatherings and congregations at churches across Cairo and Alexandria, local media reports.
According to Al Ahram Online, the new restrictions will be in effect until the end of January and they include reduced attendance at Christmas and Epiphany masses in all churches, with a maximum capacity of 20 people.
Under the new regulations, Sunday schools, meetings and third day memorials and baptisms will be suspended, and wedding ceremonies and funerals will be held with reduced attendance.
Furthermore, churches will be limited to holding one mass a week, and attendance will be restricted to priests and 15 deacons. All clergy members are also required to observe all public health and safety regulations while performing these services.
This comes as Egypt enters the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the country’s Minister of Health and Population Hala Zayed.
Over the past week, Egypt has seen a sharp rise in daily increases of coronavirus cases, with the Ministry of Health reporting 1,133 new cases yesterday, the highest daily increase since last July.