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Protocollo con le Comunità Ortodosse

Protocol with Orthodox communities

The need to adopt measures to contain the SARS-CoV - 2 epidemiological emergency makes it necessary to draw up a Protocol with religious confessions.
The Protocol, while respecting the right to freedom of worship, excludes the existence of bilateral agreements, balancing the exercise of religious freedom with the needs to contain the epidemic under way.
In order to facilitate the exercise of the manifestations of worship, the following measures are established.

Access to places of worship for liturgical celebrations

1.1    Any celebration and any meeting of religious nature is allowed in compliance with all the precautionary rules provided for in the matter of containment of the ongoing epidemiological emergency. In particular, participants are required to wear appropriate respiratory protective equipment and must keep an interpersonal distance of at least one metre.

1.2    In compliance with the legislation on interpersonal distancing, the legal representative of the body has to identify the person responsible for the place of worship in order to establish the maximum capacity of the religious building, taking into account any aeration systems available and the minimum safety distance, which must be equal to at least one metre on the side and on the front; in any case it must not exceed the 200 units.

1.3    Those who enter the places of worship for liturgical celebrations must wear masks.

1.4    Places of worship must be accessed individually, in such a way as to avoid any gathering in the building and in the adjoining premises; every celebration must be carried out within a limited time.

1.5    Religious authorities are entrusted with the responsibility of identifying suitable forms of celebration of the rites in order to ensure interpersonal distancing, enforcing all the safety requirements.

1.6    Access to the place of worship, in this phase of transition, remains limited and regulated by volunteers and / or collaborators who – wearing appropriate personal protective equipment, disposable gloves and a clear sign of recognition – favour the access and exit, and monitor the maximum number of permitted participants. If the expected participation of the believers significantly exceeds the maximum number of permitted participants, consider the possibility of increasing the number of liturgical celebrations.

1.7    To facilitate an orderly access, use, where available, several entrances, possibly distinguishing those reserved to the entrance from those reserved to the exit. During the entrance and exit of the believers the doors have to remain open to promote a safer flow and to prevent doors and handles from being touched.

1.8    Moreover, access to the celebration site is not allowed to those who have been in contact with people who tested positive for SARS-CoV - 2 in the previous days. Likewise, access is not allowed in case of flu/respiratory symptoms or in the presence of body temperature equal to or above 37.5° C.

1.9    It is indicated, where possible and permitted, to perform the functions in the outdoor spaces of the places of worship, making sure that, at the conclusion, the participants move away from the area of the function quickly.

1.10    In relation to particular aspects of worship which may involve close contacts, the competent religious authorities are responsible for identifying the most suitable ways to maintain the necessary precautions to exclude any risk of contagion and transmission of the virus.

1.11    Ministers of worship (priests) may carry out worship activities and exceptionally move even beyond the borders of the region, provided that they resort to the reasons provided for by the current legislation and in compliance with the provisions on self-certification, also accompanied by the certification of the body of worship or of the confession of reference.
 
Rules to be observed carefully during the liturgical celebrations

2.1    In order to promote compliance with the rules of distancing, it is necessary to minimize the presence of officiating ministers, who are in any case required to observe the minimum distance.

2.2    The presence of a cantor who sings psalms in a low voice is allowed.

2.3    The members of the respective communities must ensure to observe the safety distance of at least one meter.

2.4    The distribution of the Communion occurs after the celebrant and any extraordinary minister have taken care of the hygiene of their hands and put on disposable gloves; the same - wearing a mask, being very careful to cover their nose and mouth and to keep an adequate safety distance - must offer the host when the Divine Liturgy is concluded without coming into contact with the believers.

2.5    If it is not possible, from a liturgical point of view, to exclude the phases of the rites represented before, where the risk of SARS-CoV-2 contagion is higher, the officers and all those involved in any way in the supervision in the ceremonies must absolutely observe the hygienic-sanitary regulations, the use of devices for airway protection and social distancing.

Sanitation of places and objects


3.1    Places of worship must be properly sanitized before and after each celebration or meeting.

3.2    Masks and sanitizing liquids must be available outside the place of worship for those who don't have them. Moreover an external security officer must be identified by the religious authority and equipped with a badge, who will monitor the observance of social distancing and will limit the access until the capacity established is reached.

Communication

4.1    The responsible for the place of worship (priest) will take care of making persons aware of the contents of this Protocol through the methods that ensure the best dissemination.

4.2    At the entrance to the place of worship a sign with the essential indications must be placed. These include:
-        the maximum number of participants allowed in relation to the capacity of the building;
-        the entry ban for those who have flu/respiratory symptoms, body temperature equal to or above 37.5° C or have been in contact with people who tested positive to SARS-CoV - 2 in the previous days;
-        observance of the hand hygiene rules, the use of appropriate personal protective equipment, including a mask covering nose and mouth.

Other suggestions

5.1 If the place of worship is not suitable for compliance with the provisions of this Protocol, the possibility of performing outdoor functions, ensuring their dignity and compliance with health regulations, with the participation of up to 1,000 people, may be considered.