Reopening of places of worship adds to UK’s haphazard policies

19th Jun 2020
Reopening of places of worship adds to UK’s haphazard policies

(Photo credit: Pixabay/CC)

Prime Minister, Johnson, has set in motion the reopening of places of worship in England, despite the prevalence of high numbers of Covid-19 infections and the Alert system remaining at high Level 4.

Like so many of the Government’s policies, the plan, starting on June 15, seems haphazard and not thought through.

There appears to be a lack of any proper guidance, and differences of opinions remain among various faiths.

Christians have welcomed the announcement restricted initially to the reopening only for individual prayer; while Muslims and Jews have indicated that mosques and synagogues are likely to remain closed until communal/congregational prayer is allowed.

Johnson made the decision after lobbying by Christian leaders. Like with the debacle over schools, many have suggested that the Government is going ahead despite not meeting its Five Tests for easing the lockdown.

Places of worship were originally listed under step three of Johnson’s road map are not due to be fully reopened until July 4. The disjointed way so many aspects are being implemented has led to much confusion.

The additional problem for Muslims is that many fall into BAME categories that are already at high risk of Covid-19 infections. Mosques like other religious places are being asked to carry out their own assessments and tailor any guidance as appropriate for the venue and practices being carried out.

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