Fr. Bruce Barnes, the Catholic Dean of the Bailiwick of Guernsey, told CNA: “There’s a tremendous sense of change in the air and a tremendous sense of optimism for the future. We hope it will all be for the good of the island.”
Guernsey, which has a population of 67,000 and is located in the English Channel, has had 252 confirmed coronavirus cases and 13 recorded deaths as of May 28. But it recently became the first place in the British Isles to have no active cases.
On May 15, the island’s authorities announced that churches could reopen for private, individual prayer, provided that social distancing was respected. Priests are now permitted to hear confessions again, while sitting at a distance from penitents.
But Catholics who plan to attend Masses on Monday do not know whether they will be allowed to receive Holy Communion.
The States of Guernsey will announce May 29 whether priests will be permitted to distribute Communion to members of the congregation.
If the authorities give the go-ahead, Catholics will only be able to receive Communion in one kind, in the hand, and will have to observe social distancing as they approach the priest. Priests will be required to sanitize their hands before and after Communion.