The Church leaders said the decision to resume public in-person services was made "taking into account a growing number of people with immunity and vaccinated people, as well as the recent decisions to allow various establishments to resume operation".

Churches will still be required to ensure a space of at least 15 square meters per person, they said.

"Worshipers must still wear face masks, disinfect hands and keep a safe distance. Additional requirements might be introduced in individual dioceses," according to the statement.

All public Masses were suspended across Lithuania were suspended on December 16, 2020, but churches in most municipalities started reopening to worshipers in mid-February.

H however, churches in the most affected municipalities switched back to celebrating Masses without congregations in recent weeks due to rising infections.

Orthodox Church to decide next week

Orthodox Christian churches in Lithuanian municipalities with a 14-day coronavirus infection rate of over 500 per 100,000 people remain closed for public worship, but the measure will be reviewed next week, an official said on Friday.

"We have no decision yet," Vitalijus Mockus, the chancellor of the Orthodox Archdiocese of Lithuania, told BNS.

The Orthodox Church leaders are expected to hold a meeting on Monday. They will take the Catholic Church's choice into account when making their decision on whether to allow public worship to take place, according to Mockus.

"We're a much smaller community and it's much easier for us to manage flows," he noted.