Albay churches prepare for gradual reopening under GCQ
LEGAZPI CITY—The Diocese of Legazpi announced on Thursday (May 22) the gradual reopening of churches for Masses in the province.
Bishop Joel Baylon, head of the diocese, said in a circular to all 47 parishes in Albay that churches would gradually reopen starting on Monday (May 25) for weekday Masses and Sunday Masses would start on May 31, when the Catholic Church celebrates Pentecost.
Baylon, however, said weekday and Sunday Masses in churches and chapels in the Legazpi-Albay-Daraga circuit are still suspended because of COVID-19 cases in the area.
As of Thursday (May 21), the number of COVID-19 cases in Bicol stood at 68. At least 53 of the cases are in Albay.
For the same reason, Masses are still suspended during Thursdays at St. Jude Thaddeus Church, on Wednesdays at Redemptorist Church, both in Legazpi City and on first Fridays at the Shrine of St. Vincent Ferrer in Tabaco City, until further notice.
Baylon said the reopening of churches would be in accordance with protocols set under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) to prevent transmission of SARS Cov2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
All religious gatherings, the circular said, would heed rules on social distancing, hand washing, wearing of face masks “and other minimum health standards.”
“I enjoin all parishes to ensure the safety of our faithful by supporting our local government units’ efforts in observing social distancing as well as other hygienic protocols such as the use of thermal scanners, foot baths, alcohol dispensers, and face masks, in order to be ready for the reopening of our churches,” Baylon said.
Religious groups hosting the worship services should make sure the guidelines are heeded.
Edited by TSB
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