Abu Dhabi: PCR test mandatory for those attending Christmas mass

People are requested to attend only one mass, either on December 24 or 25



by

Ashwani Kumar

Published: Wed 22 Dec 2021, 4:28 PM

Last updated: Thu 23 Dec 2021, 7:37 AM

Mandatory PCR tests for Covid-19, ‘green pass’ protocols and restricted seating capacity are some of the precautionary measures taken by churches for the Christmas and New Year masses.

‘Green pass’ on Al Hosn app with a negative PCR test result within 96 hours is required to attend Christmas masses at St Joseph Cathedral Abu Dhabi. Entry will be only through Emirates ID or passport for those on visit visa.

“No booking is required to attend any Christmas mass. Seating at all masses is on a first-come, first-served basis,” parish priest Father Chito Bartolo said.

The Cathedral will hold several Christmas services on December 24 and on December 25. The schedule is available on www.stjosephsabudhabi.org. However, each faithful may attend only one mass on either day, and can follow services through live-streaming on the website and official social media platform of the cathedral.

“The church has limited capacity due to pandemic protocols. Please be charitable and mindful of your fellow worshippers this Christmas. Each person is requested to attend only one Mass on either December 24 or 25, in order to give space to as many people as possible,” Father Bartolo added.

St Andrews Church, where a Covid-19 outbreak was experienced recently, has enforced a 48-hour PCR requirement for entry to its services.

“Whether you choose to receive communion or not, you will still need to have a 48-hour negative PCR result. Our requirements at St Andrews are more stringent because our congregation had the outbreak,” the church said.

Prior registration is required for all the services on Christmas eve and Christmas day and can be done on https://standrewauh.org/.

St George Orthodox Cathedral’s Father Eldo M Paul pointed out that there were no traditional Christmas carols held this time.

“Following the government regulations, we didn’t hold carol. This was done as a Covid-19 precautionary measure.”

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The cathedral will hold masses from 6pm to 10pm on December 24 and prior bookings need to be done online for entry.

“There is a limited entry as we have to maintain social distancing measures inside the church.”

Churches will be following all the Covid-19 safety precautions with compulsory wearing of masks, maintaining safe distancing, regular sanitisation of the premises among others. All the services will be live-streamed through the official social media platforms of the churches.


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