Lebanon: Beirut Cathedral holds first mass after social distancing rules relaxed

The bells of the Saint George Maronite Cathedral in Beirut rang in a call for Sunday's mass, for the first time since social distancing rules were imposed in Beirut, marking a return to places of worship, after prayers were also held on Friday in the Lebanese capital's mosques. Few worshippers could be seen taking part in the mass, as they sat apart on the cathedral's benches, wearing masks and... Еще following current restrictions. «As a church, we implement all the orders of the state,» said priest Raymond Kasis. «The seating in the church are far apart, and on every seating, two persons will be sitting.» Kasis considered maintaining the social distancing to be a «must» in order «to win over this novel epidemic» in Lebanon. The authorities relaxed precautionary restrictions implemented in places of worship on Wednesday. According to the new official directives, mosques and the churches will be allowed to hold prayers and religious ceremonies, provided the number of worshipers does not exceed 30 percent of the capacity, and that the sanitisation and social distancing procedures are implemented. As of Friday, Lebanon has reported more than 800 confirmed cases of coronavirus, and at least 26 people have died with the disease.

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