A protocol signed today by the Italian government and the conference of Italian bishops will allow public religious celebrations “in conditions of maximum safety for the faithful”.
The safety measures provided for in the protocol "indicate the most suitable ways to ensure that the resumption of religious celebrations takes place in the safest way for public health and for the protection of the faithful," Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said.
Parish priests will identify "the maximum capacity of the church" which can guarantee social distancing during masses, the government press office told CNN,
The priest and worshipers will have to wear masks. The priest will give communion wearing gloves and must be careful "avoiding any contact with the faithful’s hands," the protocol reads.
Churchgoers will also have to maintain a one-meter distance from others, inside and outside the church. Worshippers with a temperature above 37.5 degrees — of 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit — will not be admitted.
Sanitizing gels will need to be placed at the churches entrance. At the end of every mass, the church and the objects used during the service, as the holy vases, will need to be sanitized.
Similar agreements will be signed shortly with other religious groups, Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese said.
Masses have been banned in Italy since March 9.