Muslims celebrating Eid this weekend are being urged by community leaders to follow new restrictions that prevent people from different households meeting.
Following an announcement from Health Secretary Matt Hancock last night, people in Greater Manchester, parts of Lancashire and parts of Yorkshire living in separate households can no longer meet indoors or outside in private gardens.
The new measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 were discussed by representatives of the Muslim community and Bury Council via the Bury Faith Forum earlier today.
Cases of COVID-19 are rising across Greater Manchester, and a very recent small but potentially significant rise had been noted in Bury.
Many people due to celebrate Eid-al-Adha had adapted plans to fit with government guidelines as prior to the latest announcement meetings were already restricted to two households.
Cllr Eamonn O’Brien, leader of Bury Council, said: “This announcement came at a point when Muslim communities were looking forward to one of the most important celebrations of the year.
“With meetings already restricted to two households, people had already planned gatherings that were perhaps smaller than usual. And now this new rule means that this isn’t going to be the Eid that anyone would have wanted.
“We understand how disappointed people must be that they can’t see their friends and family as planned. But equally we are seeing rising COVID-19 infections across Greater Manchester, and locally in Bury. We must all do what we can to stop this disease in its tracks.”
Cllr Tamoor Tariq, deputy leader of Bury Council, said: “While hugely disappointed with the timing of this announcement on the eve of Eid, our community is understanding that these measures have to be taken.
“COVID-19 is a devastating illness that has a disproportionate effect on people from south Asian, middle eastern and black communities. It spreads easily and quickly from person to person.
“We hope that Bury’s Muslim community will continue to stick to latest guidance, and play an important role in helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our borough.”
Guidance has been issued as follows:
- Please celebrate Eid with members of your own household only.
- You should not host or visit friends and family in each other’s homes and gardens, except where people from single adult households (those who live alone, or single parents with children under 18) who have formed a support bubble with another household.
- You also should not meet friends and family in other venues – including restaurants or cafes.
- If you do go to the mosque, ensure that you follow their social distancing and hygiene guidance, and make sure you sign in and out. If possible you should try to pray outdoors.
- Ensure you wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, using soap and water or a hand sanitiser before and after going to the mosque.
- Keep 2m apart from people not in your household, and don’t shake hands or hug other people.
Further information can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/north-west-of-england-local-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do
Press release issued: 31 July 2020.