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Coronavirus in Leicester (ALPHA Test site)

Get the latest information and advice

Religion, faith or belief

Together with other public bodies across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, we are working closely with faith groups and organisations to do what they can to limit the spread of coronavirus and support our local communities.

The challenges and opportunities presented to us across faith communities, groups and organisations at the current time are quite different; in part because each one has its own distinct demographic identity in the make-up of its communities.

We are taking national guidance and working with faith communities, groups and organisations as we act to make the best response locally.

This page includes information and advice on a range of topics, featuring links to government guidance where appropriate as well as good practice collected locally and from other parts of the country (indeed, from around the world).

Continued restrictions on our activities and the need for social distancing will affect how we can observe the many special occasions in faith calendars.

Each of the communities affected has responded in their own ways to the necessary restrictions. All continue to make changes to how they will mark festivals, celebrations, commemorations and other special occasions.

The strict infection control measures required during the coronavirus pandemic also limit close contact with people who are dying or have recently died. Where restrictions on visitors continue, it may not be possible for faith representatives to perform some or all of the usual rituals.

There may also be issues with allowing family members at the bedside, particularly if, for example, they are having to self-isolate, they are in the high-risk vulnerable group, or they are unable to acquire the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE).

Places of worship are able to open in Leicester. The government has now established a taskforce to develop a plan to reopen places of worship in a phased and safe manner. Information about that can be found at GOV.UK - reopening places of worship.

The government have also put together guidance for the safe use of places of worship, special religious services and gatherings during the pandemic, which can also be found at GOV.UK.

With the restrictions on gatherings and the need to maintain social distancing, means that worship and some of the religious rituals and practices so important to our beliefs may not be possible.

We’ll add further information about changes to worship, rituals and practices soon.