Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Phase 3: guidance for the safe use of places of worship

Guidance to help places of worship safely re-open for permitted purposes.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Phase 3: guidance for the safe use of places of worship

Restrictions on capacity

Those responsible for places of worship should ensure that they only reopen to their communities for individual or congregational acts of worship and ceremonies to mark life events if it is safe to do so and in compliance with this guidance. It is their responsibility to put in place measures that will allow them to safely reopen.

Restrictions must be set by those responsible for the place of worship to limit the number of people permitted to enter at any one time, so that a safe distance of at least 2 metres can be maintained between individuals from different household groups. Determination of capacity should take into account total floor space and likely ‘pinch points’ and busy areas, the building design and layout, and the availability of staff/volunteers to help manage attendance.

No place of worship should admit more than 50 people at any one time, regardless of its size or usual capacity.

A risk assessment should be carried out to identify points of high risk in the building and any mitigating action.

Where a place of worship is organising an outdoor worship event this should be done in line with outdoor live event guidance, with a maximum of 200 people and maintaining physical distancing.


First published: 18 Sep 2020 Last updated: 18 Sep 2020 -