New Lockdown: No Public Church Services After December 27

Lifestyle & TravelMore+ ♦ Published: December 22, 2020; 22:55 ♦ (Vindobona)

Also during the upcoming lockdown, Austria's Minister of Cultural Affairs together with representatives of churches and religious communities have agreed to suspend all public church services until January 17. Places of worship will, however, stay open for personal prayers.

There will no public church services during the newest lockdown, starting from December 28. / Picture: © Bundeskanzleramt (BKA) / Dragan Tatic

On the occasion of the new tightening to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, Austria's 16 churches and religious societies have also agreed on a new regulation, the content of which corresponds to that of November 16:

There will be no more public religious services after the Christmas holidays, specifically from December 28, 0 a.m., until January 17, 2021 for the time being, but the places of worship will continue to be open to the faithful, for example, for personal prayers.

However, an exception will be made for all those believers who celebrate the Orthodox Christmas on January 6 and 7 according to the Julian calendar.

They will be able to celebrate public services under the strictest security and hygiene measures.

This agreement was reached jointly by the responsible Minister of Culture Susanne Raab and representatives of the legally recognized churches and religious societies.

Minister of Culture Susanne Raab:

"Even though the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic has accompanied us for such a long time and has already demanded a great deal of us, the next few months will again be particularly challenging. Our top priority now must be to reduce the number of infections and relieve the burden on hospitals and intensive care units."

She continued:

"I would therefore like to thank all churches and religious societies for the fact that, following the exemption for the Christmas holidays, there will be no public church services for the time being from December 28. With this agreement, the churches and religious communities are making an important contribution so that we can also achieve our goal of significantly reducing the infection figures."

Previously, the 16 churches and religious societies had agreed to suspend public services during the time from November 17 and December 6, 2020. Also during this time, the places of worship had continued to be open for personal prayers.