An update on public worship restrictions around Europe

Public worship is currently banned in Ireland. For the second year, there will be no Easter celebrations due to the ban imposed by the Government. This is exceptional in Europe, where public worship is allowed in almost every country, albeit with various safety measures. (See details below)

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis last March, public worship in Ireland has been banned for 37 weeks (39 weeks in Dublin and Donegal).  No other country in Europe, and probably in the world, has kept this ban for such a long time.

All other European countries closed their churches for a much shorter period, mostly during the first lockdown last year: England 14 weeks, France 9, Germany and Belgium 6, Italy 5.

Slovakia has had a 31 week ban and Slovenia, 24 weeks. But Ireland beats even them.

Here is an updated list of what is happening in a range of European countries, based on the official EU website Re-open EU.

Public indoor worship restrictions 

Banned: Ireland, Slovakia and Slovenia. In Estonia, religious ceremonies are permitted only outdoor, with a limit of 10 participants.

No specific limits on numbers but worshippers must be socially distanced: Austria, Croatia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Switzerland.

Limits vary by region:  Greece, Spain and Portugal.

Max 500 participants depending on size of building: Denmark.

Max 50 participants: Cyprus, Iceland.

Max 15 participants: Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechia.

Max 8 participants: Sweden.