By Kostas Onisenko
Despite the fall in COVID-19 patients numbers, the Russian Orthodox Church intends to maintain measures against the spread of the virus in churches, which were imposed last spring, as stated by the head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations (DECR), Metropolitan Hilarion.
“I do not think we should rush to reduce the measures taken at the beginning of the pandemic because the pandemic will last, as it seems, a long time, and the probability of infection is still high for many. Many have not yet been vaccinated, they have not become ill and they do not have antibodies in their blood,” he told the Russian channel Россия 24.
The measures in force in Russian churches include the obligatory use of face mask, the social distancing between the faithful, the disinfection of the surfaces. In addition, during the Christmas period, the elderly were advised to avoid going to the church while a priest could visit the faithful at home.