Thursday, February 25

Castex offers a “6 m2 because faithful” gauge for religious services

Jean Castex — Alfonso Jimenez // SIPA

Prime Minister Jean Castex proposed, this Wednesday, to relax the sanitary gauge of the number of people authorized to attend religious ceremonies to “6 square meters per faithful”, against 30 people currently maximum.

Believing that the gauge of 30 people was too strict and “disproportionate” because not taking “into account the size of religious buildings”, the Council of State, seized by Catholic associations, had given three days to the government, Sunday, to review his copy.

“Loosen the gauge a bit” at Christmas

For the moment “no decision” has been taken “because the Council of State has given us three days and the deadline expires” Thursday morning, declared Jean Castex on BFMTV and RMC. “I proposed to go from a quantitative limit to 30 faithful to a gauge of 6 square meters per faithful”, “that is to say a relative gauge”, and this “until December 15, where a new stage of easing ”could take place, he said.

“We are still in discussion” with the Ministry of the Interior and representatives of religions, some of whom “would like gauges a little more flexible” than 6 square meters, he said. “But I am optimistic that we will find a balanced agreement. “In addition, Jean Castex mentioned the possibility of” loosening the gauge a little “for Christmas ceremonies.

A proposal well received by cult representatives

Jean Castex had set the maximum capacity last week at 30 people per religious office, while ensuring that it would evolve “gradually” and could take into account the “overall capacity” of the place of worship, before the Council of ‘State never asks him to review his copy.

When questioned, the Protestant Federation of France affirmed that it would “be satisfied” with the proposal of 6 square meters. Just like the French Council of Muslim Worship (CFCM), which in any case recommended that its mosque federations wait until December 15 before resuming Friday prayers. The Conference of Bishops of France affirmed “to await the official announcement” before any comment.

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