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Jack Brooke-Battersby
By Jack Brooke-Battersby

Senior Staff Writer

31 July 2020

| | 4 min read

Community

Stay safe while celebrating Raksha Bandhan

Ahead of popular Hindu celebration Raksha Bandhan, on Monday August 3, worshippers are being asked to observe public health guidance to help reduce the spread of coronavirus.

Stay apart to protect others
Stay apart to protect others

Detailed guidance is in place around religion and worship, but here is some of the advice for worshippers ahead of the celebrations:

  • As hard as it is, try to meet as few people outside your household as possible.
  •  Groups of up to 2 households (a household means those who live together or are in a support bubble together) can meet socially in any location or a group of up to 6 people from more households can meet outdoors. Even in these groups you should ensure you wash your hands frequently ​for 20 seconds and keep 2 metres apart from people outside your own household or bubble, even in other people’s homes.  
  • Other actions taken to reduce the risk of transmission should also be considered, for example, any food shared should be pre-wrapped, and prevent friends and family from using any dishes and cutlery other than their own.

 At your place of worship

  •  Communal worship or prayer can be attended by more than 30 people but only if the venues used can safely accommodate larger numbers in a way which complies with COVID-19 secure guidance.
  • It is important that risks are managed sensibly. In line with wider Places of worship guidance you should:
  • Do - Follow the mitigation measures that places of worship have put in place, for example using booking systems, changes to entrances and exits or staggered arrivals.
  • Do - Continue to broadcast services online for those who need to stay at home or are able to mark the event at home to avoid large gatherings.
  • Don’t break social distancing (2 metres between households, or 1 metre with mitigation, if 2 metres is not possible), and especially avoid touching people outside of your household. 
  • Don’t interact socially outside of your household, or the group (of 2 households) that you went to the place of worship with. 
  • Do - If you can, you should also wear a face covering. 
  • Do - Make sure you provide contact details to the place of worship to support the NHS Test and Trace service designed to track and help prevent the spread of COVID-19. 
  • Don’t use shared areas for ablutions – wash at home, unless in an emergency.
  • Do - Remove communal resources such as prayer mats. Single use alternatives should be removed after use and disposed of by the worshipper.
  • Do - Make sure only you touch your belongings, for example shoes if removed.
  • Do - Take home personal items brought in to aid worship, such as a prayer mat.
  • Do - Speak into a microphone to lead devotions or sermons to avoid shouting. Avoid sharing microphones between different speakers.
  • Do - Use a plexi-glass screen in front of a single individual raising their voice, singing or chanting at the front.
  • Don’t - No one else should sing, shout, or raise their voice, beyond that one individual behind plexi-glass.

 If you develop a new or continuous cough, a fever, or experience a change to your taste or smell, self-isolate and book a coronavirus test