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Easter church services not limited by restrictions in Ontario for 1st time since 2019

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For the first time since 2019, churches in Ontario are not facing provincial restrictions as Christians mark Good Friday and then Easter on Sunday.

In 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic began to impact the province, places of worship were ordered to close as part of the bid to stop the virus spread.

Cardinal Thomas Collins said at the time he understood the “very scrupulous health reasons” to close down.

Read more: Canadians to gather for Easter, Passover. How safe is it amid 6th COVID-19 wave?

“I never thought in my whole life I’d see the day where I’d say we can’t have the public celebration of the Eucharist for a time,” Collins told The Canadian Press.

In 2021, COVID-19 restrictions meant services were still subdued. The day before Easter Sunday, Ontario entered into a province-wide shutdown, limiting religious ceremonies to 15 per cent capacity indoors. Outdoor religious services were allowed for as many people as could physically distance.

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Today, nearly all restrictions have been lifted in Ontario.

Read more: What’s open, what’s closed in Toronto: Easter long weekend 2022

“This Holy Week will be even more powerful for Catholics in Ontario,” states a post on the Archdiocese of Toronto’s website.

“For the past two years, to maintain the common good, Holy Week services saw gathering restrictions so we could slow the spread of COVID-19. During Holy Week 2022, we will be able to gather together in a way that has not been possible in recent years.

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“However, we note that many people are concerned about the number of COVID cases in our province, so we ask everyone to treat others with kindness in church and in society at large”

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The post said many parishes will continue to livestream masses, as they have done throughout the pandemic.

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Southeastern Ontario public health officials urge caution over Easter weekend – Apr 13, 2022

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