19 May 2020

Places of worship and outdoor congregational prayers/gatherings 19/5/2020

The Government’s announcement on 10 May has not altered guidance for places of worship or the position on outdoor congregational prayers, and places of worship should remain closed whilst some elements of the lockdown are eased.  This will be reviewed by the Government in July 2020 at the earliest.

In relation to Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations marking the end of Ramadan at the end of this month, social distancing restrictions remain in place and residents should pray and celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr in their own homes with the people they live with and avoid gathering in congregations at mosques, car parks or any open space to offer Eid prayers.

It is custom to embrace and greet people in the Muslim faith on Eid. We would respectfully ask that you avoid this in all circumstances and maintain a safe two meter distance. Covid-19 is not visible, people could be infected and not show symptoms. Therefore the best way to reduce risk is by avoiding social contact.

Currently cemeteries remain open, however we would ask that members of the public check with their local authority around opening times.  Any visitors to cemeteries should respect that funerals continue to take place and that anyone visiting, continues to adhere to Covid-19 guidelines related to social distancing.

To comply with Government guidance there should be no gathering of people apart from those that live together in the same household.  Only two people from different households can meet in outdoor settings, such as parks and public spaces – as long as they stay two metres apart.

We would like to thank you all for your hard work and sacrifice in curtailing the spread of the coronavirus.  We recognise that this has been an emotional and challenging time for followers of faith and none.  Your hard work and sacrifice have been effective in saving lives and reducing the pressure on the NHS.  You will agree that we must continue with this hard work and sacrifice to save more lives. Residents should continue to pray at home with household members or explore online opportunities with their local faith community across the county.

Lancashire Resilience Forum will continue to keep the situation under review.

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