ARLINGTON, Va. (FOX 5 DC) - All 70 parishes in the Catholic Diocese of Arlington will move into phase three of Virginia's reopening plan on Wednesday.
Officials announced Monday that each parish is "able, but not mandated, to celebrate public Mass with capacity restrictions lifted" beginning on July 1.
While the current cap on occupancy, which is less than 50 percent capacity for places of worship, will be lifted on Wednesday in the Commonwealth, officials say social distancing restrictions of six feet apart in public settings will continue to be mandated and parishioners over the age of 10 must wear face coverings.
"Pastors in the Diocese will communicate their specific expectations at the parish level," according to a statement. "It is up to each pastor’s discretion to determine if his parish is ready to enter the next phase of reopening consistent with guidelines."
"Those who are 65 years old or older, as well as those with underlying health conditions, are encouraged to avoid gatherings of the general public and attending public liturgies," the statement continues.