More people will now be able to attend Mass inside the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene or Quiapo Church in Manila starting July 10.
This is in view of the recent decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging and Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to allow churches under general community quarantine (GCQ) to hold religious services up to 10 percent capacity of the venue.
Monsignor Hernando “Ding” Coronel, Quiapo Church rector, said at least 100 people will be accommodated inside the church during mass.
“Yes, 100 (people) inside the church during mass,” he said in an interview Sunday, July 4.
“We will make adjustments for next Friday start,” Coronel added.
Quiapo Church has a 1,000 seating capacity.
At present, mass attendance is limited to 10 people only.
Coronel said after the mass, those outside will be allowed to enter to pray.
“We let them enter for private prayer when there is no mass,” he said.
“We have volunteers to ensure the health protocols,” Coronel added.
According to the priest, they conducted a “dry run” Sunday in preparation for July 10.
“So far, devotees are cooperative,” said Coronel.
Meanwhile, Quiapo Church parochial vicar Father Douglas Badong said the number of their masses remains the same at the moment.
“We have not changed it. We will see on July 10 if there is a need to add more,” he said.
Quiapo Church reopened Friday, July 3, after being on lockdown for nearly two weeks.
The church was closed to the public after a visiting priest tested positive of COVID-19.
All the priests and staff of Quiapo Church who underwent quarantine for 14 days tested negative of the disease.