Italy’s churches will be allowed to hold services from May 18th as the country continues to roll back some of the strict lockdown measures.
Churches have remained open in Italy during the country’s quarantine, but any services that would have attracted crowds were prohibited. This means that all masses, confessions, weddings, and funerals were previously banned. The buildings remained open for individual reflection and prayer.
From mid-May, mass will be reinstated. However, the church experience will look quite different. All attendees must be sufficiently spaced out and church doors will remain open. Masks will also be required, and the celebrant who offers communion wafers must wear gloves, disinfect hands, and drop the wafers into the hands of the faithful without touching them and while keeping a safe distance.
Holy water fonts will remain empty, and confessions cannot be conducted in the small closed booths that are normally used. Confessions can take place outside, as needed, or in other well ventilated spaces.
Finally, churches must be disinfected after each mass to sanitize the space.