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 Government on COVID-19.

The latest Government guidance, effective from Monday 1 June, 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/.

See also:

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

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

https://gov.wales/coronavirus

https://www.nhsinform.scot/coronavirus

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

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

 

 

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

 

Closure of places of worship 

In the Government's daily coronavirus press conference on 31 May, Robert Jenrick said that the 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 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

 

Funerals

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, with the revised version following on 19 April. This guidance was further updated on 18 May. 

On 9 April the 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.  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

The NHS has published bereavement advice and suppport, which was updated on 23 April: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/bereavement-advice-and-support/

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