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Latvia's churches will be open this Easter - with restrictions

This week, Lutherans and Catholics will mark Palm Sunday, but next weekend is Easter – one of the most anticipated and celebrated festivities in the church. Latvian Television looked at the Covid-19 restrictions churchgoers have to follow during the holidays.

This will be the second Easter in the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic. Last year the doors of many churches were closed, services were remote and people were invited to stay in their homes.

This year the churches will be open at Easter, but all the principles of epidemiological security must be strictly respected: a mask on the face, hand-disinfecting. A room of at least 10 square meters shall be provided for each visitor. Churches may not be filled more than one-fifth of their capacity.

Justice Minister Jānis Bordāns  said: “Only a few people may be present in churches. And most likely, the visit to the church should be short for others to get in. But we expect this to be the last Easter with such conditions.”

Emergency restrictions must also be taken into account now, and they also affect the working hours of churches. The Ministry of Justice said that, at present churches may open at six in the morning and close no later than eight in the evening. But this Saturday and Sunday, churches are allowed to be open until midnight, and the night of April 4 or Easter - until 1 at night.

Orthodox Easter, will be marked May 2 this year.

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