Moscow’s main Russian Orthodox cathedrals reopen to churchgoers

Associated Press Reporter

The two main Russian Orthodox cathedrals in Moscow have reopened their doors as officials take more steps to ease the country’s coronavirus lockdown.

The Christ the Saviour Cathedral and the Epiphany Cathedral at Yelokhovo welcomed parishioners again on Tuesday.

The move was coordinated with federal and city officials.

An orthodox priest wearing a face mask to protect against coronavirus distributes Holy Communion (Pavel Golovkin/AP)

Churchgoers are supposed to wear medical masks and maintain a proper distance from others during services.

Other churches in the Russian capital are scheduled to reopen on Saturday.

Moscow churches have been closed to parishioners since April 13.

Parishioners wearing face masks and gloves (Pavel Golovkin/AP)

Orthodox churches in many other regions across the vast country already have reopened as provincial authorities started lifting restrictions intended to stem the outbreak.

Russian officials say that the nation is now past the peak of contagion, making it safe to gradually ease lockdown measures.

Some experts warn that with new confirmed cases increasing by about 9,000 daily, lifting restrictions quickly is dangerous.