mass gatherings

No change to wedding guest limit, and 50% capacity at religious services until 22 October

As part of the government’s reopening plan, all restrictions on religious or civil ceremonies will be lifted on 22 October.

THE TAOISEACH HAS announced that in-person religious services can proceed with 50% capacity from 6 September under the government’s phased lifting of Covid-19 restrictions.

Services and sacraments, such as communions and confirmations, can be held regardless of the immunity status of those in attendance.

There will be no change to the current limits of 100 guests at weddings during September, however, live music will be permitted at events. 

Taoiseach Micheal Martin was this evening asked if dancing will be allowed at receptions with live music, in response, he said:

“We’re removing the regulatory prohibition on dance [from 6 Septmeber], but public health advice still prevails. People have to take on the guidance and make a judgement themselves.”

For weddings ceremonies held in a church, couples may abide by the 50% capacity rule. In this instance, the 100 guest limit will apply to the reception that takes place afterwards.  

The Government’s plan for the final easing of restrictions is contingent on 90% of over-16s being fully vaccinated by 22 October, and the country passing the peak of the Delta variant.

Should the targets be met, the majority of restrictions – including those on religious or civil ceremonies – will be lifted on 22 October and replaced by guidance.

Transport Minister Eamon Ryan said he’s glad to see churches returning to normal services “to lift our spirits”.

Under current public health guidelines, communions and confirmations are advised not to take place, however, baptisms have been allowed to go ahead since 5 August.

Currently, the number of mourners permitted at funeral services is 50 people, regardless of the size of the venue.

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