Churches will probably stay open for Christmas

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First advent candle lit in Narva (November 29, 2020). Source: Sergei Stepanov/ERR

Several advent church concerts were canceled due to the danger posed by coronavirus and by Christmas restrictions could get stricter but, so far, it is not planned to close churches during the festive season.

Currently, it is required to follow the 2+2 rule in indoor public spaces and to use hand sanitizer and wear a mask.

Minister of Population Riina Solman (Isamaa) said: "Currently, they are not planned. But the thought is that the church services should take place. But then large gatherings won't take place during Christmas and we can keep the churches open for the whole day and offer people the possibility to participate individually."

If the government was to tighten up the restrictions during Christmas, a possibility of preregistration and more church services per day has been discussed. When in spring, churches closed their doors, then for the Christmas holidays, the doors are probably going to stay open.

Archbishop of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church (EELK Urmas Viilma, said: "Our hope is to keep the doors open, if possible, to hold more services than usually. If the ban is established, we will keep the churches open so that the people could listen to Christmas music or the Christmas Gospel at least on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. But this an idea at the moment."

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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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