Thousands of people are expected to gather on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on Sunday evening to participate in a worship event and to protest COVID-19 restrictions.

The event, part of California-based Christian singer Sean Feucht's "Let Us Worship" tour, is expected to draw up to 15,000 people, according to a permit issued this week.

The National Park Service granted the permit for the event, which will take place on federal property, though participants will reportedly not be required to wear face masks.


"For all permit applications, we discuss a COVID-19 mitigation plan with the event organizers, but that plan is not a requirement for or condition of the permit," a National Park Service official told CBS affiliate WUSA.

"While the National Park Service strongly encourages social distancing, the use of face coverings and other measures to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, we will not require nor enforce their use," the official added.

Some have raised concerns about holding a large gathering — even outside — without widespread mask use.

"It's concerning," Glenn Wortmann, chief of infectious diseases at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, told NBC affiliate WRC-TV.

"I mean anytime there a group of a large number of people in one area, there is a potential for spread," Wortmann said, adding that holding the event outside "makes the risk [of spread] lower."

Tour organizers emphasize that all crew members will have their temperatures monitored and that gloves and face coverings will also be provided, WRC-TV reported, though attendees are not required to wear masks.

The event will serve as the last stop of a prayer tour led by Feucht that has drawn large crowds across the country. Images and videos posted online show that previous events featured mass baptisms, prayer and singing.

The tour's website calls on supporters to "rise up" against what it deems unjustified restrictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic, saying states across the country "have shut down church services and even outlawed singing in church."

“In unprecedented acts of government-authorised injustice, Christians are being told they cannot gather for worship, they cannot sing songs of praise, and they cannot observe church ordinances,” Feucht wrote in an op-ed for The Federalist last month, describing the events as "worship protests."

D.C. is currently in phase two of its reopening plan, which encourages teleworking and limits mass gatherings to 50 people, though churches can apply for waivers for larger groups. However, since Sunday's event will take place on federal land, the District won't have a say in the event.

The Hill has reached out to Let Us Worship for further comment.