CATHOLICS aren't expected to attend religious ceremonies in person this Christmas, according to an Irish priest.
Fr Paddy Byrne, from Co. Laois, insists that precautions should be taken due to the fact that many parishioners fall into the 'vulnerable' category.
"In my experience, since the 29th of June when we were allowed to resume public liturgy, by and large it is people from the vulnerable category who come to church," he said.
"No way would I want any elderly grandparent or friend to put themselves at any risk over Christmas by coming to church.
Due to Covid-19, public health measures state that only 50 people are allowed to attend mass.
This has caused concern for many parishes which typically see large numbers of people attend, particularly over the Christmas period.
Churches around the country have offered alternatives to traditional religious events by hosting their services online to accommodate as many people as possible in a safe manner.
As per today's announcement that Ireland will be moving back into Level Five, from December 26, religious services will be moved online until January 12 at the earliest.