Places of worship must remain closed, says Lancashire's coronavirus taskforce

The body helping to organise Lancashire’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic has said places of worship must remain closed, despite the easing of Government restrictions.

Tuesday, 19th May 2020, 12:23 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th May 2020, 12:24 pm

The Lancashire Resilience Forum (LRF) says the Government’s announcement on May 10 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, the LRF says that 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.

Currently cemeteries remain open, however, the LRF advises 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.

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The Lancashire Resilience Forum is advising that places of worship, such as Preston Minster, should remain closed, and that people should celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr - at the end of the month - in their own homes with the people they live with and avoid gathering in congregations

A statement from the LRF said: “We would like to thank everyone all for their 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. Hard work and sacrifice has been effective in saving lives and reducing the pressure on the NHS. 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 has the primary responsibility for bringing agencies including the police, fire, local authorities and health, together to respond effectively to any emergency, including something like a flu pandemic. Organisations under the LRF umbrella have a specific focus on those people in our communities who are vulnerable, whether by reason of their age, health or any other issue. Follow @LancsResilience on Twitter for updates.