France must review Covid-19 crowd limits on church attendance

Places of religious worship can now hold services for up to 30 people, as France eases out of a second national lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic.
Places of religious worship can now hold services for up to 30 people, as France eases out of a second national lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic.
Image: Kiran Ridley/Getty Images

France's State Council, the country's highest court, on Sunday ordered the government to review a law limiting the number of people in churches during religious services to 30.

The Council said in a statement that the measure was not proportionate to coronavirus infection risks.

Last week, the government announced that a nationwide lockdown in place since Oct 30 would be unwound in phases.

Shops selling non-essential goods were allowed to reopen from Nov. 28 and indoor religious services were allowed to resume, but the number of worshippers was capped at 30 people, regardless of the size of the place of worship.

Catholic organisations have challenged the limit, arguing that churches and cathedrals are much more spacious than retail outlets, where the limit is one person per eight square metres.  

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