WARSAW, Poland – Amid a spike in new COVID-19 cases, Poland’s health and Catholic Church authorities have appealed to all parish priests to strictly observe an attendance limit and distancing at church services, especially during the Easter holiday.

Health Minister Adam Niedzielski and Secretary General of Poland’s Episcopate, Bishop Artur Mizinski, said in Wednesday’s appeal that they were driven by concern for the “life and health of all Poles.”

“We must not remain indifferent in the face of the rising number of new infections,” they said and stressed the need to “strictly observe the rules and sanitary requirements.”

They said that was the necessary condition to avoid new restrictions that would be tougher than the current lockdown of hotels, shopping malls, theaters and sports centers.

On Wednesday, the nation of 38 million inhabitants recorded its highest daily number of new COVID-19 cases in the pandemic, reaching almost 30,000. There were 575 deaths.

There have been reports that not all churches are observe pandemic rules. Photos have circulated of ruling party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski and other officials failing to observe the required distance at a memorial Mass for Kaczynski’s late mother in a church in Starachowice in central Poland.

Easter, this year on April 4-5, and the week leading to it, are a time when Poles throng churches for prayers and Mass.