Covid rules in place for Aglona pilgrims

This week, Aglona hosts the annual Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which is being marked by Catholic pilgrims for the second year in a row in the shadow of Covid-19. 

Last year, attendees were able to participate in the Aglona Festival only by invitation, but this year, those present at the main festivities on August 14 and 15 must present a Covid-19 disease or vaccination certificate or a negative Covid-19 test. In addition the number of people attending church services at any one time will not exceed 1,000.

Priest Rinalds Stankēvičs told Latvian Radio more about the rules for at the main events of the festival on Saturday and Sunday: "If you are ill or have not been vaccinated, you must call Aglona in advance, register, make a reservation, then take a test and, if the test is negative, come to Aglona with a test result valid for 48 hours. Then you will be able to take part in the celebrations. "

People who have already applied tp participate, but for some reason will not be able to make it to the events are invited to inform organizers so that others may have the opportunity to participate in the festival.

Children under the age of 12 do not have to take the test to attend the event, but parents, even if they have been vaccinated themselves, must inform Aglona Basilica by phone or electronically.

Anyone who has doubts about their health is invited to stay at home and follow services remotely. As the priest Rinalds Stankēvičs emphasized, there are various ways to participate in the festival.

"We will pray both with those who will be in Aglona and with all those who, due to various reasons, will not be able to be physically present at the festival this year, but will be spiritually united with us. The church will pray for everyone: for our compatriots both in Latvia and in the world, for sick people, for overcoming the pandemic as soon as possible. We call on the faithful to join our prayers for those who can be physically present in Aglona - wondrous and beautiful! For those who will not have such opportunities, we will be united in spirit."

Christianity was brought to Livonia by German crusaders in the 13th century.

Read more about Aglona and the pilgrimage tradition at the official Latvia travel website and more about tourism opportunities in the Aglona area is available at a dedicated website.

More details about this year's event at http://www.aglonasbazilika.lv.

 

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