UPDATED 6:22 PM PT — Friday, May 22, 2020
California Governor Gavin Newsom has said he expects to provide plans on reopening churches by Monday amid mounting pressure from President Trump. On Friday, he stated he looks forward to reopening houses of worship in a safe and responsible manner.
This came hours after the president designated churches as essential businesses, which he said must be allowed to open immediately.
“Today, I’m identifying houses of worship, churches, synagogue and mosques as essential places that provide essential services,” said President Trump. “Some governors have deemed liquor stores and abortion clinics as essential, but have left out churches and other houses of worship, it is not right.”
Earlier this week, Newsom announced his state is weeks away from allowing churches to reopen.
However, the Justice Department has issued a formal warning and pointed out extending church closures could be deemed a violation of the First Amendment.