As one of HCMC’s iconic landmarks in its downtown area, the Notre Dame Cathedral of Saigon will reopen next week, allowing parishioners at half of its maximum capacity.
“The archdiocese has allowed the Cathedral to reopen after the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee announced that religious activities may resume in areas with low coronavirus risks” Ho Van Xuan, head representative of the Saigon Archdiocese and parish priest of the cathedral said.
“The cathedral can host 1,200-1,500 people. However, upon reopening it would only allow use half its maximum capacity to ensure safety,” said Xuan, adding that people coming to the cathedral to participate in ceremonies must follow coronavirus safety measures like wearing masks and sitting at predetermined seats. People who have a cough or fever are encouraged to stay home, Ho Van Xuan added.
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The archdiocese had suspended certain religious rituals and ceremonies late May to prevent Covid-19, according to local media.
The 150-year-old cathedral is a popular destination during holidays and festivals, especially Christmas. The HCMC archdiocese currently oversees 203 churches with nearly 700,000 laities, VNExpress’s Huu Cong reported.
Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon, officially Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of The Immaculate Conception is a cathedral located in the downtown of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Established by French colonists who initially named it the Church of Saigon, the cathedral was constructed between 1863 and 1880