The Malta Independent 30 May 2020, Saturday

20-person limit: Guidelines for funerals released

Friday, 22 May 2020, 08:22 Last update: about 7 days ago

There will be a limit of 20 persons for funerals as part of guidelines that were made public this morning by the Curia.

Last Monday, the government announced the relaxation of measures related to the containment of the Coronavirus, and as from today funerals can start to be held with some limitations.

No regular Masses are as yet allowed, but the banning of funeral Masses was a measure that affected people the most, particularly those who lost a loved one in the last two months or so. As from today, at least a funeral Mass is being allowed but, as said, this will be held under strict guidelines.

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A funeral Mass can, as from today, be held in the open, including on the church parvis or the cemetery, or else in large churches with a 20-person limit. In the circumstances, the Curia is recommending that priority is given to open-air funeral masses.

The place where the funeral Mass is to be held is to be prepared with signs indicating the distance to be kept between people. The temperature of the attendees is to be taken before the Mass starts, while hand sanitizers are to be made available. People with a fever or who do not want to cooperate will not be allowed to attend.

There should be no physical contact between participants during the Mass, not even when signs of peace are exchanged. For Holy Communion, the participants are to remain in their place while the priest goes round and the communion will not be delivered to the mouth, only to the hands.

Social distancing is also to be in place at the end of the funeral, and the benches or chairs used are to be disinfected after the Mass.

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