FILE – Empty pews are pictured as Father James Hughes, Priest in residence Father Paul Goo and assistant pastor Father Felix Min perform a Easter Sunday mass at St. Patrick’s in Vancouver on Sunday, April 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

FILE – Empty pews are pictured as Father James Hughes, Priest in residence Father Paul Goo and assistant pastor Father Felix Min perform a Easter Sunday mass at St. Patrick’s in Vancouver on Sunday, April 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Small outdoor religious services will soon return for B.C. faith groups: Dr. Henry

Dr. Henry said indoor services are expected to return in April

Small-scale outdoor religious services will soon return to B.C., provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Monday (March 15).

In-person religious services have been banned in the province since November, when Henry put in a slew of restrictions on events and gatherings. Since then, she said her office has been working with Robert Daum, fellow and lead of diversity and innovation at Simon Fraser University’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, as well as religious leaders on plans for a return to in-person services.

“I know how challenging it has been for many people not allowed to congregate with those in their faith communities,” Henry said.

“We will be providing a class variance to allow outdoor religious services in small numbers in the coming days.”

The move comes just ahead of Passover and Easter, which begin at the end of March and the beginning of April.

Henry said the province is working on how to begin a “gradual and safe phased reopening of ongoing indoor services” in April.

READ MORE: B.C. COVID-19 infections still spreading as vaccination underway


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