Mask requirements and capacity limits have been lifted for Catholic churches in D.C. and part of Maryland.
Catholic churches in the Archdiocese of Washington, which includes churches in D.C. and in Calvert, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s counties in Maryland, will no longer require masks beginning Friday at 5 p.m.
There are no capacity limits on the number of people who can attend Mass, the Archdiocese said in a news release.
Masks are still required in Catholic schools and child care facilities.
There are still a number of safety protocols in place, however. Masks must be worn by those distributing Holy Communion. Social distancing should still be practiced, but can be reduced from 6 feet to 3 feet. Churchgoers may resume giving the Sign of Peace during Mass, but should do so with a bow or wave, and not a handshake.
The announcement comes as COVID-19 restrictions ease in the D.C. area and more residents get vaccinated.
These new guidelines apply to funerals and weddings, too.
The Catholic diocese in Arlington, Virginia, has also lifted COVID-19 restrictions for masses and other activities.
- Sign up for WTOP alerts
- Latest coronavirus test results in DC, Maryland and Virginia
- Coronavirus FAQ: What you need to know
- Coronavirus resources: Get and give help in DC, Maryland and Virginia
- Frederick County public libraries reopening at 30% capacity on June 1
- As Va. lifts indoor capacity limits, most COVID-19 restrictions in region are gone