COVID-19: Northern Ireland Executive agrees two-week “circuit breaker” lockdown

The Northern Ireland Executive has agreed to introduce a two-week circuit breaker to slow the spread of COVID-19. The new restrictions will run for two weeks from 27 November until 11 December. The press release announcing the new restrictions issued today, 19 November, says that those businesses that are planning to open on 20 November under the current restrictions can do so but will have to close again next Friday.

So far as religious observance is concerned, places of worship must close except for weddings, civil partnerships and funerals. The attendance limit of 25 for weddings and funerals remains in force.

The Executive says that it took the decision to introduce the circuit breaker from next Friday after modelling indicated that doing so offered a greater likelihood of avoiding further restrictions before Christmas.

4 thoughts on “COVID-19: Northern Ireland Executive agrees two-week “circuit breaker” lockdown

  1. Under canon law, Christmas eve mass must be in the evening so that you fulfil your obligation for Christmas mass.
    I know we all under different pressures today with Covid restrictions including priests of parishes but surely the senior generation of people of all parishes are entitled to have their obligation fulfilled by being able to attend a mass on Christmas eve in the evening after 6 pm or on Christmas morning.
    Can you confirm is this correct.

    • In the Church of England, whilst there is an obligation to receive Communion at Christmas, no time nor specific celebration of the Mass is specified, Canon B 15 Of the receiving of Holy Communion

      1. It is the duty of all who have been confirmed to receive the Holy Communion regularly, and especially at the festivals of Christmas, Easter and Whitsun or Pentecost.

      I cannot comment authoritatively on the obligations and timings of Christmas Masses in the Roman Catholic Church. However, among the many items on the web are: What time is midnight Mass? and Christmas Mass Obligation.

    • You need to ask a Roman Catholic canonist, which David and I are not. Anyway, we don’t give legal opinions on anything: we aren’t qualified to do so, neither do we carry the necessary professional indemnity cover.

  2. Pingback: COVID-19 Coronavirus: legislation and guidance | Law & Religion UK

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