All the churches in Mumbai will complete their New Year’s Eve mass celebrations before 9 pm today (December 31). This is keeping in line with the precautionary measures in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
It is reported that masses will be held online and those who want to attend in-person will be allowed to do so based on pre-registration. The churches will maintain social distancing and other safety measures during the mass.
Following the curfew rules set up by the government of Maharashtra, the churches said that they would wrap up their mass services before 10 pm.
The Archbishop of Bombay, Oswald Cardinal Gracias in a letter, asked all the churches in Mumbai to follow standard operating procedures (SOPs) and all the necessary safety measures during the New Year’s Eve mass services to keep the spread of COVID-19 in check.
The Free Press Journal quoted Father Frazer Mascarenhas, who is the parish priest at St Peter’s Church, as saying, “We will finish New Year Eve mass services before 9 pm so that we follow the curfew timings. Also, people can attend mass online and offline on registration basis.”
The priests at other churches also said that they would be maintaining all the precautionary measures against the spread of COVID-19. These safety measures will include wearing masks, maintaining social distance, and thermal checks of the visitors.
The mass services during the New Year’s Eve generally begin after 9 pm or 10 pm in the churches every year, as people gear up to celebrate the coming of the new year. For this year, the services will begin early by 7 pm or 8 pm and get finished by 9 pm.
The Maharashtra government had previously ordered night curfews in Mumbai, given the fears of the new COVID-19 variant, which is reportedly highly infectious.
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