French court orders govt to ease Covid-19 curbs on religious services

France’s highest administrative court has ordered the government to rethink a 30-person attendance limit for religious services to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The measure took effect this weekend, which faced opposition from places of worship and the faithful such as Catholic associations, describing the government rules as “unnecessary, disproportionate and discriminatory”, reports Xinhua news agency.

The Council of State on Sunday ordered that French Prime Minister Jean Castex modify the measure within three days.

On November 24, President Emmanuel Macron said that the peak of the pandemic’s second wave had passed, allowing a gradual return to normalcy.

French churches, mosques and synagogues started opening doors again to worshippers this weekend, but only a few of them.

The countrywide confinement in force since October 30 will be lifted on December 15 provided that new infections remain below 5,000 per day.

Cinemas, theatres and museums will then be allowed to reopen under strict health protocols.

France, one of the worst-hit European countries, has so far reported 2,270,573 coronavirus cases and 52,410 deaths.