Guidance

COVID-19: guidance for the safe use of places of worship and special religious services and gatherings during the pandemic

Guidance to provide advice on how places of worship can open, for limited permitted activities, in a manner that is safe and in line with national lockdown restrictions.

Documents

Details

The guidance provides advice on how places of worship can open, for limited permitted activities, in a manner that is safe and in line with social distancing guidelines.

This guidance is of a general nature and should be treated as a guide. In the event of any conflict between any applicable legislation (including the health and safety legislation) and this guidance, the applicable legislation shall prevail.

This guidance is only applicable in England. For guidance in ScotlandWales or Northern Ireland, please refer to guidance from the relevant national governments.

Published 4 July 2020
Last updated 11 January 2021 + show all updates
  1. Guidance on Singing, chanting and the use of musical instruments has been updated.

  2. Amendments to reflect the revised national lockdown regulations which came into force on 6 January 2021.

  3. To incorporate the announcement of Tier 4 restrictions by the PM on 19 December 2020.

  4. Added guidance on Celebrating religious festivals during coronavirus (COVID-19).

  5. Guidance amended in line with regulations being laid before Parliament on 1 December to re-introduce Tiered restrictions in England.

  6. 'COVID-19: guidance for the safe use of places of worship during the pandemic' updated to incorporate the changes announced by the Prime Minister on 2 November, coming into force on 5 November 2020.

  7. Updated special religious services and gatherings checklist, to incorporate changes in regulations announced by the Prime Minister on 12 October 2020.

  8. Guidance amended to incorporate the changes to regulations announced by the Prime Minister on 12 October.

  9. Updated guidance to incorporate changes in regulations, as they affect places of worship, announced by the Prime Minister on 22 September 2020.

  10. Updated the Special religious services and gatherings COVID-19 checklist - to incorporate changes in regulations, as they affect special religious services and gatherings, announced by the Prime Minister on 22 September 2020.

  11. Guidance for the safe use of places of worship and special religious services and gatherings during the pandemic: updated to incorporate changes in regulations, announced by the Prime Minister on 22 September 2020.

  12. Updated guidance for the safe use of places of worship to incorporate changes in the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (No. 2) (England) (Amendment) (No. 4) Regulations 2020 which came into effect on 14 September 2020.

  13. Added High Holy Day services and gatherings COVID-19 checklist.

  14. Updated to take account of changes in guidance on singing and playing brass and wind instruments in front of an audience and on holding small wedding receptions.

  15. Amended in line with the Prime Minister's statement on 31 July.

  16. Updated to reflect additional requirements on face coverings and amendments to 1 August 2020 easings.

  17. Added checklist for special religious services and gatherings.

  18. Updated to reflect additional requirements on face coverings, and added guided on outdoor worship. Please note, the updated translated versions of the guidance are to be added.

  19. Added various foreign language versions: Arabic, Bengali, simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, French, Gujarati, Polish, Portugese, Punjabi, Romanian, Somali, Urdu.

  20. Updated section on singing, chanting and the use of musical instruments.

  21. First published.