MANILA - The Manila Cathedral re-opens Wednesday to the public after closing for half a year, since March, due to restrictions imposed by government due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dubbed as the "Mother Church" of Catholics in the Philippines, the cathedral also known as the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception will allow the entry of churchgoers beginning Wednesday, Sept.16.
For the past months, online masses were conducted inside the church.
Strict health and safety measures will be implemented.
Manila Cathedral officials said only 80 persons can attend per mass, and that's equivalent to 10 percent capacity of 800 as required by the IATF guidelines on mass gathering.
Churchgoers also need to undergo temperature check at the entrance, where there are also hand sanitizers and foot bath. They will be given an assigned seat. Upon reaching the assigned seat, there is a paper where they will need to write down their name and other details for contact tracing.
One pew can only seat 3 persons. Even couples or family members are required to seat apart. Churchgoers are required to wear face masks and face shields inside the church.
On weekdays, first mass is 7:30 a.m., followed by a 12:10 p.m. mass. On Sundays, there are three masses, at 8 a.m, 10 a.m and 6 p.m.
The Plaza Roma in front of the cathedral will be prepared in case there will be more people attending the mass and may be unable to go inside the cathedral.
The masses will be livestreamed online for those who may not be able to leave their homes.