Catholic Diocese of Richmond announces updated COVID-19 policies

Coronavirus

A man prays inside an empty Manila Cathedral, Philippines as they observe strict health protocols to prevent the spread of the coronavirus on Wednesday, March 24, 2021. Presidential spokesman Harry Roque warned Tuesday that the government will forcibly close Roman Catholic churches in the capital if priests proceed with a plan to hold masses in defiance of new restrictions against public meetings, including religious gatherings, to ease an alarming surge in coronavirus infections. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) —  On Thursday afternoon, the Catholic Diocese of Richmond announced that they are lifting most of their remaining COVID-19 protocols on May 28.

These changes include no longer requiring masks indoors or outdoors for fully vaccinated people. Unvaccinated people are still required to wear masks.

“Although the pandemic is not over and we recognize that some concerns remain, it is now time to weave a course that is reasonable but also allows better access to the sacraments and liturgies,” said Most Rev. Barry C. Knestout, bishop of the Diocese of Richmond.

In addition, they will continue to grant dispensation from the obligation of attending Mass on Sundays and holy days.

“These updated guidelines are to assist you,” said Knestout. “They also allow a certain amount of discretion for implementation at the local level.”

Those not wearing a mask will not be asked to provide proof of vaccination.

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