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Get the latest information and guidance

Get the latest information and guidance

Jewish High Holy Day services and gatherings

The Government has released a checklist covering key principles from the COVID-19 guidance to help Jewish communities carry out services and gatherings in a safe manner.

Reopening of places of worship

The Government’s new guidance for places of worship in England came into effect from Saturday 4th July.

Updates to the guidance

On Friday 21st August, the government released new guidance relating to full immersion baptism. This new guidance sets out a number of rules for officiants and participants to follow when performing baptisms by immersion:

  • Those being immersed should be at least two metres away from the congregation except when they are being immersed.
  • Only one person should be immersed at a time, and they should only be attended by one officiant.
  • During the immersion, the officiant should not cradle the person being immersed or touch them in any way other than on the head.
  • Officiants should wash their hands after each person is immersed, or if this is not possible, hand sanitiser should be used.

As of Saturday 15th August, small groups of professional or non-professional singers will be able to sing in front of worshippers, both indoors and outdoors. However, there should still be no participation by worshippers. Brass and wind instruments can now also be played as part of a worship band. Any instruments that are played should be thoroughly cleaned before and after use.

On 4th August, the guidance was updated to reflect the additional requirements on face coverings in line with the Prime Minister’s statement from 31st July. As of 8th August, face coverings must be worn in a number of enclosed spaces including places of worship. Those leading services, or those assisting (including preaching, leading prayers or reading) are exempt.

On July 17th, the guidance was updated to clarify points relating to outdoor worship and face coverings.

  • Outdoor worship in public spaces is not illegal providing it involves less than 30 people and observes social distancing regulations.
  • Public gatherings of over 30 are only allowed if arranged by a business, charitable, benevolent or philanthropic institution, public body or political body, who have carried out a risk assessment and implemented ways to minimize transmission. Places of worship may be considered a charitable, benevolent or philanthropic institution, but are responsible for ensuring they qualify.
  • Gatherings of over 30 in a public space require agreement with the body that manages that space and measures, including risk assessments, must be in place to ensure the event is as safe as possible.

On July 10th, the guidance was updated to allow small groups of professional singers may perform outdoors in front of an audience. All other forms of groups singing are still discouraged. (Relevant section)

MHCLG have produced a helpful poster to be placed outside of places of worship, containing the key advice necessary to keep your congregation safe once you begin to reopen.

We’re also collecting good practice released by faith groups, representative bodies, and supporting organisations.

Know something we don’t? Let us know by emailing [email protected]!

General guidance regarding coronavirus

At FaithAction, we’ve been collating together all the information, advice and guidance from across the sector and beyond about this pandemic that is of interest to faith groups and communities.

This includes guidance specifically related to faith and its practices, plus guidance covering wider issues, from mental health to bereavement.

Reporting of coronavirus regulation breaches

If you believe that there has been a serious breach of coronavirus regulations, you may report an incident to your local police force.

While you may always call 101 for non-urgent police matters, many forces are urging people to instead use online reporting methods where possible due to the increased pressures of the pandemic.

We’ve put together a list of links to these online reporting tools, where available.