Churches in England will be permitted to reopen for private prayer tomorrow, the Government has officially announced.
Individuals will be able to pray while adhering to social-distancing rules but services are still not allowed.
There have been calls across the UK to allow churches to resume activity as soon as possible.
The Government published updated guidance today which confirmed widely-held expectations that churches would be able to open for “individual prayer”.
The guidance adds: “We will continue to review when it might be safe to ease other restrictions on places of worship”, expected to be no earlier than 4 July.
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “Ensuring places of worship can open again, beginning with private prayer by individuals has been my priority.
“Their contribution to the common good of our country is clear, as places of solace, comfort, stability and dignity. And the need for them is all the greater as we weather the uncertainties of the pandemic.”
Members of the Welsh Parliament have called for “a sensible and flexible approach” to allow places of worship in Wales to reopen “as soon as possible”.
Darren Millar, Chair of the Parliament’s Cross-Party Group on Faith, said that people “are longing to be able to worship and fellowship in person once again and the right to do so should be given greater priority by the Welsh Government.”
Currently, churches in Wales remain closed except for funerals or marriages and civil partnerships, where one person is terminally ill.
In Northern Ireland, many churches are holding ‘drive-in’ services where people remain in their cars for an outside service.