The Prime Minister has confirmed that places of worship in England, including mosques, can reopen for collective worship from December 2 when the national lockdown ends.
In a statement to Parliament earlier today outlining the government’s COVID-19 Winter Plan, Boris Johnson said that national restrictions in England will end on December 2. This means from next Wednesday people will be able to leave their home for any purpose and meet others in outdoor public spaces, subject to the Rule of Six.
Johnson added that collective worship, weddings and outdoor sports can resume, and shops, personal care, gyms and the wider leisure sector can reopen.
Since November 5 in England only mosques that are able to comply with “individual prayer” rules can legally remain open to the public for worship.
“For the first time since this wretched virus took hold, we can see a route out of the pandemic. The breakthroughs in treatment, in testing and vaccines mean that the scientific cavalry is now in sight and we know in our hearts that next year we will succeed,” the Prime Minister said.
“By the spring, these advances should reduce the need for the restrictions we have endured in 2020 and make the whole concept of a Covid lockdown redundant. When that moment comes, it will have been made possible by the sacrifices of millions of people across the United Kingdom…
“But the hard truth, Mr Speaker, is that we are not there yet. First we must get through winter without the virus spreading out of control and squandering our hard-won gains, at exactly the time when the burden on the NHS is always greatest. But without sensible precautions, we would risk the virus escalating into a winter or New Year surge.”
However, Johnson said that from December 2 the country would go back to a regional tiered approach, applying the toughest measures where Covid is most prevalent.
This means that in Tier 1 people should work from home wherever possible. In Tier 2, alcohol may only be served in hospitality settings as part of a substantial meal. And in Tier 3, indoor entertainment, hotels and other accommodation will have to close, along with all forms of hospitality, except for delivery and takeaways.