Only a limited number of people will be allowed in the parishes, keep the distance
Posted: July 5, 2021
Photo CNS / Kim Kyung-Hoon, Reuters
Torch relay runners wearing protective masks attend an event in Yokohama, Japan on June 30, 2021 ahead of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. The 2020 games have been postponed until this summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
TOKYO (CNS) – The Archdiocese of Tokyo said it will maintain infection control measures despite the Japanese government lifting the COVID-19 state of emergency in many cities ahead of the next Olympics and Paralympics.
Tokyo Archbishop Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi said Catholics would remain on guard after the government eased restrictions, ucanews.com reported. He said pandemic control measures will be in place in areas covered by the Archdiocese of Tokyo, which expects many people to visit the metropolitan area during the Olympics and Paralympics.
According to security protocols, only a limited number of people will be allowed to enter churches, and they must keep a distance of one meter from each other. Without such a measure, religious services cannot take place.
Churches must also ensure sufficient ventilation during Mass, while all faithful are encouraged to leave church premises promptly after Mass and must refrain from greeting and talking to each other.
Each parish will keep track of Mass attendees to follow instructions from the health ministry to deal with a situation in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak, ucanews.com reported. The Archbishop said he would continue with a dispensation from the obligation of Sunday Mass.
In mid-June, Japan announced the lifting of its third state of emergency in nine prefectural-level cities. However, seven areas, including Tokyo, the host city of the Olympics, and Osaka will remain under near-emergency measures until July 11. Only Okinawa Prefecture remains in a state of emergency.
The postponed Olympics are scheduled to begin on July 23 and the Paralympics on August 24. Japan has banned foreign spectators from attending world sporting events, but the government will allow around 10,000 local spectators under strict health and physical distancing rules.
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