Government’s vaccination mandate will not be extended to churches, Cabinet and Ecclesiastical Commission agree

While there is a vaccination mandate for public sector workers and businesses, churches are not being subjected to this policy. 

This follows a meeting of the Ecclesiastical Commission with the Cabinet on Wednesday (October 6) when they addressed the issue of church attendance and vaccination of congregants.

At the end of those deliberations, “It was agreed that the constitutional guarantees of freedom of conscience and religion would leave each church free to move its congregation to offer bilateral engagements with parishioners,” government spokesman Lionel “Max” Hurst says.

Meanwhile, while a number of the current restrictions have been eased, including the reopening of gyms and restaurants, Churches are also being allowed to recommence regular worship services.

They must, however, continue to abide by the established COVID-19 protocols, established and agreed to by the Central Board of Health (CBH), determined by the maximum number of worshippers allowed. 

Funerals and weddings taking place in churches may also allow as many as the capacity agreed to by the CBH, Hurst says. 

Additionally, feast houses and wakes continue to be limited to the numbers agreed to with the CBH, excluding the officials and technicians.

Churches have been operating at reduced capacity for several weeks due to the increased COVID-19 cases. 

The government’s mandatory vaccination policy, which will be extended to the private sector shortly, came into full effect on October 1.