Churches in the British Virgin Islands will now be able to host up to 50 persons, following government’s recent decision to increase the maximum allowed size of social gatherings in the territory.
Premier Andrew Fahie made that announcement during a national address on Thursday, May 21.
He said: “Cabinet considered and decided on an increase for the size of gatherings from 20 persons to one person per 64 square-feet up to a maximum of 50 persons, as certified by the Social & Monitoring Task Force, to take effect on May 24, 2020.”
Skelton Cline’s Plea
This decision comes only days after local pastor Claude Skelton Cline, who is also a consultant to government, appealed to the Andrew Fahie administration to increase the limit on church gatherings to up to 50 persons.
“There are churches who have masks, there are churches who have the thermometers to check your temperature, they have set up the safe distancing and all that good stuff. So I am appealing to this government to increase those numbers — if that can happen as early as this weekend — to 50 parishioners,” said Cline, who was also a spokesperson for the VIP during the February 2019 General Elections.
“That’s my appeal to the Premier and his team; that they give serious consideration to looking at the numbers in the houses of worship on the weekends in particular,” he added.
Previous gathering limits
In March, Cabinet had decided to limit social gatherings to no more than 30 persons prior to the territory receiving its first COVID-19 case.
After receiving two confirmed COVID-19 cases and undergoing 14 days of 24-hour lockdown, Cabinet decided to reduce that number to 20 to further prevent the virus from spreading in the BVI.