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11th – 15th September 2023

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Government guidance for the safe use of places of worship during the pandemic

The government has released new guidance on the reopening of places of worship during the coronavirus pandemic. Starting from June 13, places of worships will be permitted to open for provision of individual prayer.

Individual prayer within a place of worship is defined as a person or household entering the venue to pray on their own and not as part of a group, led prayer or communal act. They should be socially distanced from other individuals or households. Collective or communal prayer and regular scheduled services are not permitted at this time as set out in Regulations. This includes a Minister of Religion or lay person leading devotions or prayer of any sort.

Additionally, the guidelines strongly advise against the use of any communal objects or resources, against singing or the playing of instruments, and against the provision of washing/abultion rituals at the place of worship, in order to limit contact between individuals.

They also advise for restrictions to be put in place to limit the number of people that may enter at one time, so that social distancing can be maintained.

The full guidance can be read here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-places-of-worship-during-the-pandemic/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-places-of-worship-during-the-pandemic

The coronavirus regulations can be found in full here: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/129/contents/made