Bratislava, April 20, 2021
The Slovakian faithful can finally return to Church after about three months of complete closure by the government.
However, only those who have a negative COVID test no older than 7 days are allowed to enter a church building, according to new state guidelines.
Several measures were lifted as of yesterday as infection numbers have dropped recently, allowing all shops and services to reopen and public church services and travel between districts to resume, among other things, reports the Slovak Spectator.
It is possible that measures could be further lifted next Monday, April 26.
According to His Eminence Archbishop Juraj of Michalovce and Košice, everyone, including clergy, is also required to wear an FFP2 mask, and social distancing rules still apply, with one person per 15 square meters.
“If the church is small, the number is limited to six. But it’s something, thank God, after 3.5 months of suspension of public worship,” His Eminence commented to OrthoChristian.
Last month, Abp. Juraj, together with His Beatitude Metropolitan Rastislav of Prešov, the primate of the Orthodox Chuch of the Czech Lands and Slovakia, issued a statement protesting invasive COVID restrictions that make it “practically impossible not only to perform public worship, but also individual pastoral services.”
During the pandemic, 376,000 cases of coronavirus infection have been detected in Slovakia, about 11,100 of which were fatal.