COVID-19 update

Faith communities are responding to COVID-19 in a variety of ways. Read more…

COVID-19 Government guidance

This page contains guidance from the UK Government on COVID-19.

The latest UK Government guidance, updated on 9 July, can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/staying-alert-and-safe-social-distancing/staying-alert-and-safe-social-distancing 

UK Government information on COVID-19 is at: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

The NHS guidance can be found at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/.

UK Government guidance for passengers on travelling safely can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers

Scotland

https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/

https://www.nhsinform.scot/coronavirus

Wales

https://gov.wales/coronavirus

https://phw.nhs.wales/topics/latest-information-on-novel-coronavirus-covid-19/

Northern Ireland 

https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/campaigns/coronavirus-covid-19

https://www.publichealth.hscni.net/covid-19-coronavirus

 

Volunteering safely

On 23 April, the UK Government issued updated guidance of volunteering safely: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-how-to-help-safely--2/coronavirus-how-to-help-safely

 

Places of worship 

On June 29, the UK Government published guidance for the safe use of places of worship from 4 July.  The latest guidance, updated on 9 July, is at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-places-of-worship-from-4-july/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-places-of-worship-from-4-july

On 23 June, the Prime Minister announced the further easing of lockdown restrictions from 4 July. Places of worship will be able to reopen for prayer and services, including weddings with a maximum of 30 people, all subject to social distancing rules. https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/prime-ministers-statement-to-the-house-on-covid-19-23-june-2020

On 12 June, the UK Government published new guidance for the safe ropening of places of worship in line with social distancing rules. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-places-of-worship-during-the-pandemic

On 7 June, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick announced that places of worship across England will be allowed to reopen for individual prayer from Monday 15 June. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/places-of-worship-to-re-open-for-individual-prayer

In the UK Government's daily coronavirus press conference on 31 May, Robert Jenrick said that the UK Government's first step regarding the reopening of places of worship will be to open them for individual or private prayer in the coming weeks, and that they are working closely with faith leaders to ensure this. 

On 13 May, the UK Government updated its guidance on the closure of certain businesses and venues in England, including places of worship https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close-guidance The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, announced that the government is setting up task forces to look at how to safely reopen places of worship. The Government's current planning assumption is that this step will be no earlier than 4 July. The UK Government's COVID-19 recovery strategy can be viewed here https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/884760/Our_plan_to_rebuild_The_UK_Government_s_COVID-19_recovery_strategy.pdf

On 23 March, Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the nation, calling for the closure of all places of worship. A transcript of the speech can be viewed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-address-to-the-nation-on-coronavirus-23-march-2020

Scottish Government

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-places-of-worship/

Welsh Government

https://gov.wales/guidance-reopening-places-worship-coronavirus-html

Northern Ireland Executive

https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/coronavirus-covid-19-regulations-guidance-family-and-community#toc-4

Funerals

The latest UK Government guidance for managing a funeral during the coronavirus pandemic is at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-managing-a-funeral-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic/covid-19-guidance-for-managing-a-funeral-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic  This was last updated on 9 July.

Public Health England has issued the following advice on funerals:  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-managing-a-funeral-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic/covid-19-guidance-for-managing-a-funeral-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic.  This guidance was issued on 31 March, and is being regularly revised and updated.   The latest update was on 9 July.

On 9 April the UK Government clarified the position on cemeteries and burial grounds, now listed as an 'exception' and therefore able to remain open: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close-guidance.  Following concerns about the inability of families to attend funerals, MHCLG Minister of State Simon Clarke MP wrote on 17 April to local authorities in England https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-sets-out-plans-to-ensure-bereaved-families-can-attend-funerals-during-pandemic and MHCLG published the following guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-local-death-management (last updated on 14 May).  A further letter from him to local authorities of 23 April speaks of guidance being updated to make clear "that burial grounds and cemeteries may remain open, and that grounds surrounding crematoria may also remain open, including gardens of remembrance" and says that his officials "have made accompanying technical amendments to the Regulations to dispel all confusion surrounding the status of burial grounds, and people’s ability to visit them and similar places". See: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/access-to-parks-and-public-spaces-including-burial-grounds-and-cemeteries

The following advice, targeted more at health and funeral professionals, updated 20 April, is relevant to handling of care of the deceased. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-care-of-the-deceased/guidance-for-care-of-the-deceased-with-suspected-or-confirmed-coronavirus-covid-19 This was last updated on 8 July.

The NHS has published bereavement advice and suppport, which was last reviewed on 3 July: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/bereavement-advice-and-support/

Scottish Government

https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-funeral-services/pages/pre-funeral-arrangements/

Welsh Government

https://gov.wales/guidance-local-authorities-funerals-covid-19

Northern Ireland Executive

https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/coronavirus-covid-19-regulations-guidance-family-and-community#toc-5

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