Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church announced, on Tuesday, that masses will resume at churches in Cairo and Alexandria effective as of 31 January.
Masses will be allowed to take place with strict restrictions to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Earlier on Monday, Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria said, during a virtual dialogue session, that an official statement will be issued regarding the resumption of masses in the two cities at 25% capacity, according to local media. Masses will be held every day of the week, with an average of one person per bench.
Prayers will be suspended for 15 days at churches that do not adhere to precautionary measures announced by the Coptic Orthodox Church, or in case COVID-19 infections are reported. The assessment of the situation is left to the fathers of each church based on the number of infections.
Participation in coronation wedding ceremonies and funerals will be allowed, also with an average of one person per bench. However, Sunday schools service, meetings and all activities and services will remain suspended.
Orthodox Churches in Cairo and Alexandria reopened on 3 August 2020, while Friday masses were resumed in September 2020.
In June last year, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly announced the reopening of houses of worship across Egypt. Precautionary measures will remain in place at all houses of worship to avoid the further spread of the coronavirus. On 21 March last year, Egypt announced the closure of all churches and mosques amid efforts to curb the outbreak of the virus.