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Deacon Bernd Malecki and server Anna hold Easter service in front of portraits of believers who could not attend the mass at St. Barbara church in Oberhausen, Germany on April 11. Photo: Ina Fassbender/AFP via Getty Images

Families and communities around the globe are adapting their religious observance of Passover and Holy Week to the global pandemic that has put half the planet's population on lockdown.

Driving the news: Police are taking extra efforts to enforce social distancing over Easter weekend, as officials say the practice is beginning to flatten the COVID-19 curve in crucial areas across U.S. and Europe.

A nun and believers celebrate Easter at the Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in Kazan, Russia. Photo: Yegor Aleyev/TASS via Getty Images
Rabbi Jeffrey Bennett of Temple Sinai in Newington, Connecticut hosts a virtual community Seder on Zoom on April 8. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images
Rabbi Bentzi Sudak (far right), his wife Rochie Sudak (far left), and their children display one of their "Seder to go" boxes outside their home in London, England on April 8. Photo: Hollie Adams/Getty Images
A woman attends a traditional blessing of cakes and eggs on the eve of Catholic Easter in Minsk, Belarus on April 11. Photo: Sergei Gapon/AFP via Getty Images
An altar boy of the Church of San Antón assists in the celebration of Holy Week with the religious Father Angel broadcasting a live stream on April 11 in Madrid, Spain. Photo: David Benito/Getty Images.
An Orthodox Jewish man prays in Jerusalem on April 8 after taking part in the ritual of burning bread before Passover. Photo: Ilia Yefimovich/picture alliance via Getty Images
Orthodox Jewish men in Jerusalem's Mea Shearim neighborhood dip cooking utensils in boiling water to remove remains of leaven on April 7. Photo: Menahem Kahana/AFP via Getty Images
Prior Robert Balek of the Parish of St James of the Roman Catholic Church on April 11, preparing for an Easter mass held without worshippers. Photo: Sergei Krasnoukhov\TASS via Getty Images
The annual procession of the Station of the Cross on Good Friday in Saint-Germain l'Auxerrois church on April 10. Photo: Pierre Suu/Getty Images
Easter chocolate bunnies in Troyes, France decorated with face masks on April 11. Photo: François Nascimbeni/AFP via Getty Images

Go deeper: Easter poses major social distancing test

Go deeper

House passes $1.9 trillion COVID relief package

Photo: Screenshot via C-SPAN

The House approved President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief package on a 219-212 vote early Saturday morning, sending it to the Senate for a possible rewrite before it gets to Biden's desk.

The big picture: The vote was a critical first step for the package, which includes $1,400 cash payments for many Americans, a national vaccination program, ramped-up COVID testing and contact tracing, state and local funding and money to help schools reopen.

8 hours ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.