Suggestions on some measures to deal with the COVID emergency –

We publish the full text of a memorandum from the CEI General Secretariat sent today (10 January 2022) to the Italian bishops in which some suggestions about the rules introduced by the latest decrees and laws relating to the Covid emergency are highlighted.

Dear conferees,

Recently we celebrated the Mystery of Nativity, meditating on the glory of the Incarnate Word. In recent weeks we have also had the opportunity to savor the beauty and fatigue of “walking together,” tracing in our communities the same search that carried the shepherds and the Magi to Bethlehem.

Unfortunately, the epidemic is showing no signs of ending and these days the number of infections continues to rise. It is undoubtedly a great test for all: the sick and the suffering, the doctors and health workers, the old and the young, the poor, the families. and also to priests who, in spite of everything, are always close to the people of God; For catechists, educators, pastoral workers, true teachers and witnesses.

Recognizing the general situation, we advise everyone to be prudent, have a sense of responsibility and respect the useful indicators for containing the epidemic. In this regard, the regulatory updates introduced by the last three legal decrees are now known (DL December 24, 2021, No. 221; DL December 30, 2021, No. 229; DL January 7, 2022, No. 1). With fraternal closeness we mention some points below, and share tips and suggestions.

liturgical celebrations. The green corridor is not required, but the provisions of the CEI-Government Protocol of May 7, 2020 are still in force, combined with the subsequent indications of the Scientific Technical Committee: masks, distancing between desks, no peace exchange with pressure from the hand, empty holy water stops … it is necessary Respect the provisions carefully, in particular: the specified distances are strictly kept; provision of sterilizing gel; All surfaces (benches, chairs, handles…) are disinfected after each celebration. Regarding masks, the protocol does not specify the type, whether surgical or FFP2; The latter certainly has a high filtration capacity and is recommended, as the authorities repeat these days.

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Christian education. Provisions regarding school tracing, in some cases, provide for “monitoring by test”: after close contact in the school environment, students and teachers are not immediately placed in quarantine but must undergo swabs as soon as possible and again after Five days. The indicators of the Ministry of Health advise not to participate in extracurricular activities during this period between the first and second installments. Therefore, those who have undergone “observation by testing” will not be able to participate in catechism, even if they are negative on the first test, until a negative result of the second test is five days after the first. FFP2 Mask is highly recommended for operators (catechism teachers, illustrators, educators…). This type of mask is also recommended for participants in catechism. It may be appropriate for parishes to keep some spare FFP2 masks for use by those who do not have masks or who have been broken, dirty or excessively worn out.

FFP2 masks. The use of FFP2 masks is required by law in some situations. It is also recommended for use in all activities organized by ecclesiastical bodies.

The obligation to vaccinate for those over the fifties. We remind you that as of January 8, 2022, the vaccination obligation has been applied to all those who have reached the age of 50.
Vaccination may be neglected or postponed if there is a definite risk to health, in connection with specific documented clinical cases, certified by the patient’s general practitioner or by the vaccinator.
From February 1, 2022, financial penalties will be in effect for those who do not comply, and from February 15, 2022 an Enhanced Green Card (see Attachment) will be required for access to workplaces for public and private sector workers over the age of 50.

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Vaccination obligation for university employees. Effective February 1, 2022, the vaccination obligation has been introduced for all university employees, without age limits. It follows that the staff of seminaries and seminaries as well as course instructors of the Seminars are required to have the Enhanced Green Corridor as of February 1, 2022. The control methods are the same so far implemented for the Basic Green Corridor.

A fraternal wish on a Happy New Year to all.

General Secretariat
From the Italian Episcopal Conference

Harold Manning

"Infuriatingly humble social media ninja. Devoted travel junkie. Student. Avid internet lover."

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