Interpretation of Government Ordinance on Fulfilment of PCT Conditions to Exercise Religious Activities of September 16, 2021

14.9.2021 Cerkev v Sloveniji Cerkev v Sloveniji, COVID19, SŠK

The Secretariat of the Slovenian Bishops' Conference (SBC) provides an interpretation of the Ordinance on Amendments to the Ordinance on the Manner of Fulfilling the Condition PCT (recovered, vaccinated, tested) to contain the spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus infections (Official Gazette RS 149/21), adopted by the Government of September 16, 2021, on the fulfilment of the PCT condition for the field of religious activity and shall enter into force on September 18, 2021.

1. The performance of religious rites is permitted provided that the following conditions are met:

All believers over 15 must meet the PCT condition (recovered, vaccinated, tested).

A responsible person (pastor/parish administrator) must hang a notice on the obligation to meet the PCT condition in a visible place.

A responsible person (pastor or a person authorized by him, e.g. sexton, minister, member of ŽPS) checks at the entrance door to the church whether the believers meet the conditions of the PCT.

Priests must meet the PCT condition, although, for them, self-testing with a rapid HAG test is sufficient. They must keep a record of this and perform the test once a week in intervals.

It is necessary to ensure the minimum possible contact between the participants. For example, in religious ceremonies in churches and outdoors, the distance between the participants must be at least 1.5 meters (exceptbetween persons from the common household).

Regular aeration/ventilation of rooms (e.g. opening windows) is mandatory in which religious freedom is collectively exercised.

The use of protective masks inside churches is mandatory; outside, it is required only if it is impossible to provide 1.5 meters of mutual distance.

It is obligatory to disinfect hands when entering and leaving enclosed spaces in which religious freedom is collectively exercised.

2. Folk and choral singing in churches is permitted.

3. The implementation of religious or spiritual education is permitted provided that the persons who perform religious or spiritual education meet the PCT condition (self-testing is sufficient). In addition, children and other participants over the age of 15 must meet the PCT requirement.

4. Individual spiritual care is permitted without fulfilling the PCT condition.

5. The sacraments of confession, baptism, marriage and other worship may be celebrated with the proper observance of the provisions for Holy Masses.

6. Church funerals are permitted following the municipal services and government regulations and the recommendations of the National Institute of Health.

7. The parish office may be open if a priest and a believer meet the PCT condition.

Each diocese will prepare more detailed instructions for its territory and pass them on to priests and believers.

Additional explanations: [email protected].

Dr Tadej Strehovec

Secretary General of SBC