A family prays during the first Sunday Mass since the opening of churches at the Our Lady of Perpetual Help RC Church on Harris Promenade in San Fernando, yesterday.

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The Roman Catholic Church has welcomed an increase in worshippers since restrictions on religious gatherings were lifted just over a month ago.

“People got reacquainted, they got accustomed to the system and people are now adjusting to kind of a new normal­—how to enter, how to register and how to manage the sacramental work of the church,” said Vicar for Communications Fr Robert Christo.

He said the church views the uptake in worshippers as “very encouraging” and added that all worshippers are welcomed at church regardless of vaccination status.

“We continue to be an all-inclusive…church for all, respecting people’s rights at all levels,” he said.

“All are welcomed including those who are vaccinated, unvaccinated, on the way to (vaccination) or on the fence. Everybody is welcomed. It’s just that we have a minor requirement at this time to…those who are frontline to protect all parties.”

Fr Christo said the vaccination requirement was for key church officials who are in frequent contact with worshippers to help minimise the risk of transmission. He said this was based on advice from public health officials and is under continuous review by the church’s health, safety and environment department.

The only requirements which apply to worshippers are those set out by the Ministry of Health for religious services. That includes mask-wearing and social distancing.

At yesterday’s COVID-19 media briefing, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley announced that church services can now be conducted for 90 minutes but must remain at 25 per cent capacity.