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The New Arab Staff & Agencies

UK places of worship to open for private prayer

Worshippers are expected to adhere to social-distancing rules [Getty]

Date of publication: 7 June, 2020

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People of all faiths will be allowed to hold private prayers inside places of worship, which will re-open after coronavirus-mandated closures.
The British government will allow places of worship to reopen on June 15, but only for private prayer.

Weddings and other services will not be permitted under the latest easing of the coronavirus lockdown.

People are expected to adhere to social-distancing rules.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said it has been a "priority" to get places of worship to open again.

Jenrick said people of all faiths have "shown enormous patience and forbearance" during the lockdown, unable to mark Easter, Passover, Ramadan or Vaisakhi in the traditional way.

Under the government's road map for easing the lockdown, places of worship are not due to fully reopen until at least July 4.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to discuss the next stage of the lockdown easing with his Cabinet on Tuesday. As things stands, nonessential shops, including department stores, are due to reopen on June 15.

Read also: British Muslims go digital for socially-distanced Ramadan

The government insists it will hold off if any of its five tests to monitor the pandemic, such as being confident there is no second wave in the outbreak, are not met.

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