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Germany: Churches reopen but singing hymns is banned

June 2020

Lothar Wieler
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Churches in Germany have been allowed to reopen, but singing has been banned and strict social distancing restrictions must be observed.

The German government believes the singing of hymns increases the risk of transmitting the virus.

Some epidemiologists have argued that singing is as dangerous as coughing for spreading the virus.

Lothar Wieler, the head of the German government’s disease control agency, the Robert Koch Institute, specifically warned that singing was ill-advised.

‘Evidence shows that during singing, the virus drops appear to fly particularly far,’ he said.

Churchgoers will have to maintain social distancing and wear masks, according to the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle. Physical contact, such as shaking hands, will also be banned.

There has been growing frustration amongst churches in Germany because the restrictions on shops and other commercial places have been relaxed.

The reopening of churches appears to be a low priority for the German government, but Christians have said that spiritual nourishment is more important to many Germans than shopping.