Community Religious Services return today  after a break of more than two months caused by the covid-19, with exceptional rules, with the Directorate-General for Health (DGS) alerted to the “increased risk” propagation of the new coronavirus.

In the document defining the prevention and control measures to be adopted in places of worship by religious institutions and citizens, DGS reinforced that “in places of worship and religious there is a risk of direct and indirect transmission of SARS-CoV-2 [the new coronavirus, which causes covid-19 disease] “, which require maximum care.

On the side of religious confessions, the resumption of face-to-face celebrations is being viewed with a mixture of joy and caution, according to the heads of several entities contacted by Lusa, namely, the spokespersons for the Catholic Church, the Islamic Community of Lisbon, the Israeli Community and the Portuguese Evangelical Alliance.

In common, the desire to re-share the spaces of worship with the faithful, and the notion of responsibility to comply with the new rules agreed with the DGS in order to maximize the safety of participants in religious rituals.

In addition to the general rules, such as the two-meter spacing between participants and the use of protective materials, common to all religious celebrations, each confession has yet to adapt its specific rituals to the new rules.

Outside, there are also specific items in terms of religious ceremonies, such as the return on Sunday, at noon, of the traditional prayer of the Angelus, given by Pope Francis from the window of the Apostolic Palace in Rome, before the faithful, authorized to meet again in St. Peter’s Square.

Before, on Saturday, Francis will pray in the Vatican gardens for all those affected by the pandemic, in an initiative that the Sanctuary of Fátima will join.

Globally, according to a report by the AFP news agency, the covid-19 pandemic has already claimed more than 362,000 deaths and infected more than 5.8 million people in 196 countries and territories.

In Portugal, 1,383 people died from 31,946 confirmed to be infected, and there are 18,911 recovered cases, according to the Directorate-General for Health.