France lifts ban on religious worship

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France is allowing religious gatherings to resume on Saturday for the first time since its lockdown started two months ago. But worshippers must adhere to a set of guidelines.

The interior ministry announced on Friday that public worship would be allowed but those attending would have to wash their hands before entering, wear a face mask and keep two metres apart at all times.

French authorities eased lockdown measures earlier this month but did not end the ban on public worship, prompting complaints from religious groups.

It comes as US President Donald Trump ordered state governors to allow places of worship to reopen this weekend, saying they were “essential services”. He warned governors he would override them if they refused. The president does not have direct powers to do this, although he can withhold federal aid.

 

Nneka Ukachukwu

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