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Bataan lifts ban on religious gatherings

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Diocesan Shrine and Cathedral parish of St. Joseph in Balanga City. FB photo/CTTO



BALANGA C
ITY — The provincial inter-agency task force on Wednesday announced it has lifted its prohibition on religious gatherings in Bataan subject to certain provisions.

Gov. Albert Garcia, provincial IATF chair, said that with Bataan still placed under the modified general community quarantine, they decided to lift the ban and relax the restriction subject to the strict enforcement and observance of health and safety protocols.

Physical distancing will be strictly observed where seats will be assigned to the participants who will be encouraged to remain in their designated space throughout the religious activity.

Temperature shall be checked at the entrances where alcohol and hand sanitizers will be available.

Wearing of face masks and face shields is mandatory. Congregational or group singing is strongly discouraged even with masks since singing may contribute to the spread of the coronavirus disease.

For contact tracing purposes, all attendees and participants shall register and provide their full names, age, address and contact numbers in an application provided by the religious organization.

Only those who are 21 to 59 years old and without co-morbidities are allowed to participate in the religious gathering.

These and other regulations on certain activities during Mass or worship or gathering will be planned by religious group officers or organizers to adapt, modify or suspend activities that will increase the risk of disease transmission, the governor said.

Last August 2 with the sharp increase in Covid19 cases in Bataan, the provincial IATF issued a resolution recommending temporary prohibition of all mass gatherings, including religious worship.

Bataan was then already under the MGCQ status where mass gatherings were allowed but to mitigate the spread of the virus, national IATF approved the recommendation.

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