Interpretation of the Government Ordinance Amending the Ordinance on Meeting PCT Condition in Performing Religious Activity of October 27, 2021

1.11.2021 Katoliška cerkev v Sloveniji COVID19, SŠK

The Secretariat of the Slovenian Bishops' Conference (SBC) provides an interpretation of the Ordinance on the method of meeting the condition of recovery, vaccination and testing to curb the spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus infections with its subsequent amendments (Official Gazette of the RS, no. 147/21, 149/21, 152 / 21 and 155/21 and 170/21), adopted by the Government of the Republic of Slovenia on October 27, 2021. It enters into force on November 1, 2021.

1. The performance of religious rituals is permitted if the following conditions are met:

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

Elementary school students meet the PCT condition even if they perform quick HAG tests for self-testing twice a week in a home environment.

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

At the church entrance, a responsible person (parish priest or a person authorized by him, e.g. sexton, altar boy, member of PPC) checks whether the PCT condition of believers.

Priests and other people performing religious activities (e.g., sextons, choirmasters, organists, prayer leaders, and altar boys) must meet the PCT condition. The self-testing with a quick HAG test is sufficient for them(they must keep records and perform tests at least every 48 hours or before starting their work).

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

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

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. Implementing religious or spiritual education is allowed if persons performing religious or spiritual education meet the PCT condition (self-testing is sufficient for at least every 48 hours or before their work).

Children and other participants (primary and secondary school students) meet the PCT condition if they take the HAG test for self-testing twice a week in their home environment (a school-record sheet of self-tests is sufficient).

4. Individual spiritual care is allowed without 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 instructions of the municipal services and government regulations and the recommendations of the National Institute of Health.

7. A 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 forward them to priests and believers.

Additional explanations: [email protected].

Dr Tadej Strehovec

Secretary-General of SBC