Local Government: Coronavirus

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 7th April 2020.

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Photo of Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have established a hotline service to (1) advise on faith and secular gatherings, (2) provide information to the public, and (3) receive relevant information from members of the public, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo of Baroness Bloomfield of Hinton Waldrist Baroness Bloomfield of Hinton Waldrist Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)

The Government has issued guidance on social distancing on 16 March: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-guidance-for-mass-gatherings. In line with this guidance, large gatherings should not take place. Further guidance was published on 23 March on the closure of businesses and venues, including places of worship: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close-guidance.

The guidance is clear that all places of worship should be closed. This includes for the holding of faith and secular gatherings and solitary prayer. However, services are encouraged to take place with congregations online.

Government continues to have regular discussions with faith and belief groups to ensure that guidance relating to the COVID-19 pandemic is communicated clearly and effectively.

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