Religious ceremonies etc.

Questions and answers about religious ceremonies in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark and other religious communities.

Extended COVID-19 measures

All national measures have been extended until the end of 5 April 2021.

See overview of national measures

Questions and answers

Questions and answers about religious ceremonies etc. Updated: 10 February 2021.

Yes. The ban on gatherings does not apply to religious services, masses, Friday prayers, marriage ceremonies, baptism ceremonies, burial and funeral services and similar religious ceremonies performed in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark and other religious communities at premises usually at their disposal. At such services and ceremonies, the minimum floor area requirement is a free floor area of at least 7.5 square metres for each person, no matter whether participants are standing or seated. However, no more than 500 people can be admitted to indoor religious services or similar religious ceremonies.

On the other hand, the ban on large gatherings applies to other indoor services and ceremonies and to outdoor services and ceremonies except for burial and funeral services. At such services and ceremonies, the general ban on gatherings of more than five people applies.

At outdoor burial and funeral services and at the elements of burial and funeral services held outdoors, there is an exemption from the ban on large gatherings, allowing 50 people to attend. The exemption from the ban on large gatherings at outdoor burial services applies no matter whether participants are standing or seated.

Premises at the disposal of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark or other religious communities include church buildings, synagogues, mosques, chapels, parish halls, church classrooms and pastors' residences owned by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark or other religious communities. Premises rented or borrowed by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark or other religious communities from a third party are also comprised by the scope of the ban. To be considered 'premises', the facility must normally consist of one or more rooms in real property. However, based on the specific circumstances, a tent may be considered to be premises. The decisive factor is whether the nature of the tent is similar to that of an indoor room, for example whether the tent has solid walls, flooring, heating etc. Similarly, based on an assessment of the specific circumstances, a venue like a caravan may also be considered to be premises if the caravan is not used as a vehicle, but is used in a manner comparable to that of premises.
 
The ban on gatherings of more than five people does not apply to indoor burial and funeral services, whereas the limit of a maximum of 500 people simultaneously still applies. As regards outdoor burial and funeral services as well as the elements of burial and funeral services held outdoors, there is a ban on gatherings of more than 50 people simultaneously at the same location.
 
Religious ceremonies other than outdoor burial and funeral services held by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark or other religious communities outside their regular premises fall within the scope of the current ban on gatherings of more than five people and are subject to the right of the police to issue a dispersal order in case more than five people have gathered at the same location if such a religious ceremony is performed outside the regular premises of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark or another religious community.

The ban on gatherings of more than five people does not apply to indoor burial and funeral services, whereas the limit of a maximum of 500 people simultaneously still applies. As regards outdoor burial and funeral services as well as the elements of burial and funeral services held outdoors, there is a ban on gatherings of more than 50 people simultaneously at the same location.

Religious ceremonies other than outdoor burial and funeral services held by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark or other religious communities outside their regular premises fall within the scope of the current ban on gatherings of more than five people and are subject to the right of the police to issue a dispersal order in case more than five people have gathered at the same location if such a religious ceremony is performed outside the regular premises of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark or another religious community.

The requirements of a minimum free floor area, layout, information posters and the possibility of maintaining good hygiene that are applicable to premises open to the public must be met for premises of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark and other religious communities to be open to people.

Moreover, citizens are urged to observe the health authorities' general recommendations on good hygiene, social distancing and appropriate conduct.

If the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark or other religious communities lend or let their premises to clubs, associations, private individuals etc., the borrowers/tenants are not exempt from the ban on gatherings and must therefore observe the applicable rules banning gatherings etc. An example is if concerts not organised by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark or another religious community are held at such premises.

No. Ordinary religious services and prayers, such as Friday prayers, cannot be considered opinion-shaping gatherings.

Yes. Religious ceremonies can be performed if held indoors at the premises of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark or another religious community. In that case, the requirements of a minimum free floor area, layout, information posters and the possibility of maintaining good hygiene must be met, and the limit of 500 people gathered simultaneously must always be observed.

If a ceremony is held outdoors, no more than five people can gather simultaneously at the same location. If the ceremony is attended only by members of the same household or only by persons who are all each other's closest relatives (that is, a person's spouse, live-in partner, regular partner, brothers and sisters, parents (including his or her parents' and foster parents' spouses, live-in partners or regular partners), children and foster children (including his or her spouse's, live-in partner's or regular partner's children and foster children)), up to 10 people can attend simultaneously. Persons attending as employees, such as pastors, church custodians, parish clerks and imams, are not included in the five people.

However, in any case, outdoor burial and funeral services and the elements of burial and funeral services held outdoors can be attended by a maximum of 50 people simultaneously at the same location. People attending as employees, such as pastors, are not included in the 50 people.

Persons wanting to host a party or otherwise celebrate a religious ceremony are advised to see the answer to the question Are individuals allowed to host or attend a party?