Court orders France to rethink 30-person limit on worship

Monday, November 30, 2020

PARIS (AP) — France’s highest administrative court on Sunday ordered a rethink of a 30-person attendance limit for religious services put in place by the government to slow down the spread of coronavirus.

The measure took effect this weekend as France relaxes some virus restrictions, but it faced opposition by places of worship and the faithful for being arbitrary and unreasonable. Even before the ruling, several bishops had announced they would not enforce the restrictions and some churches were expected to defy it.

The Council of State has ordered that Prime Minister Jean Castex modify the measure within three days.

French churches, mosques and synagogues started opening their doors again to worshippers this weekend — but only a few of them, as France cautiously starts reopening after its latest virus lockdown.

Many people expressed irritation outside several Paris churches where priests held services for groups that numbered over 30.

“People respected social distancing perfectly, each to his place and with enough space so I don’t think there’s anything to worry about here,” Laurent Frémont told The Associated Press on his way home after Mass.

To attend Mass, they had to book tickets online and give their names on their way in. However, the church’s protocol didn’t seem to help limit the number of people inside the building.

Asked whether they would stay if the crowd was too large, most said they would.

“I really think you couldn’t do better from a sanitary point of view,” said Humbline Frémont.

Category:

Poll

How do you feel about the Rittenhouse Verdict?