Easter celebrations take place around the world amid ongoing Covid restrictions

4 April 2021, 14:20 | Updated: 4 April 2021, 20:58

By Sam Sholli

Easter celebrations have taken place around the world on Sunday amid ongoing coronavirus restrictions.

One hospital in Italy's Lombardy region gave each person lining up to receive a Covid vaccine a traditional dove-shaped Easter cake symbolising peace.

Meanwhile, inside St Peter's Basilica, with around 200 people allowed to attend, Pope Francis sprinkled incense near an icon of Jesus and said: "May the joy of Easter extend to the whole world."

This year, Pope Francis delivered his afternoon Easter address concerning world affairs from inside the iconic church, as crowds were banned from gathering outside St Peter's Square to hear it in the normal manner.

The Italian Government has ordered its citizens to remain home during this three-day-long Easter weekend unless they are running essential errands.

Read more: UK can look forward to 'brighter days ahead', PM says in Easter message

However, Italy's Prime Minister Mario Draghi has allowed one visit to family or friends per day in residents' home regions over the Easter weekend.

In Jerusalem, where Israel has launched one of the world's most successful vaccination campaigns, the Easter service at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was celebrated.

South Korea's Yoido Full Gospel Church, the biggest Protestant church in the country, allowed only around 2,000 church members to attend its Easter service. The service was also broadcast online and on Christian TV channels.

The members allowed to attend, which amounted to about 17 per cent of the capacity of the church's main building, sang hymns, clapped hands and prayed during the service.

Read more: Queen and Charles enjoy Windsor walk prior to prince's Easter message

Meanwhile, South Korea's biggest Catholic church, Seoul's Myeongdong Catholic Cathedral, limited its Mass attendance to 20 per cent capacity and live-streamed its Easter service on YouTube.

In France, there were churches that held their traditional midnight Easter services just before dawn on Sunday rather than Saturday due to a nationwide 7pm to 6am curfew.

Similarly in Italy, where attending a Saturday night Easter Vigil Mass is a popular practice, churches moved their traditional starting times forward by a couple of hours as the nation is under a 10pm to 5am curfew.

In the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson used his Easter message to say Britain can look forward to "brighter days ahead" despite the challenges of the past 12 months.

Read more: UK surpasses five million second Covid jabs in 'another milestone' for rollout