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Restrictions brought in halt the spread of Covid-19 will today be scrapped in churches throughout England and Wales after nearly two years.

The wearing of masks inside churches will be optional rather than compulsory and there will be no social distancing.

The use of shared hymn books will be resumed, the sign of peace may be reintroduced and holy water stoups filled up again.

On Ash Wednesday, which falls on March 2, priests will be able to administer ashes with their thumbs instead of a cotton bud.

Bishops and priests will no longer use cotton buds for anointing during the Sacrament of Confirmation and the Sacrament of the Sick.

(Catholic Herald January 27th 2022, Simon Caldwell)

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