The new local guidance says we should not:
- meet people that we do not live with inside a private home or garden, except where we have formed a support bubble (or for other limited exemptions to be specified in law).
- visit someone else’s home or garden even if they live outside of the affected areas.
- socialise with people we do not live with in other indoor public venues – such as pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, places of worship, community centres, leisure and entertainment venues, or visitor attractions. We may attend these venues with people we live with (or are in a support bubble with), but should avoid interaction with others. If somebody runs such a business, they should take steps to ensure people do not interact with people they do not live with, in line with COVID-19 Secure guidance.
Here is a BBC report
Here is the official Government notice
Here is news of a new Coronavirus testing station opening just now in Hyndburn.
Blackburn Diocese has provided the following update…
An unexpected extra update from the team as today we woke up to the news that some parts of our Diocese have had a partial lockdown re-imposed.
Households in Pendle, Hyndburn, Burnley and Blackburn with Darwen, cannot meet in their houses or gardens, but can still travel and go to places of worship and hospitality as long as they follow social distancing rules. These restrictions are particularly hard to bear for our Muslim friends for whom this weekend marks the celebration of Eid.
The speed of the imposition of restrictions is unsettling and has generated a lot of uncertainty and in some places, frustration. As a Diocese it is important that we continue to play our part in promoting and following the government’s overarching advice which continues to be:
• Stay at home as much as possible
• Work from home if you can
• Limit contact with other people
• Keep your distance from people not in your household (2m apart where possible)
• Wash your hands regularly
You may also have seen the news this afternoon that those attending places and services of worship will be required to wear a face covering. That is to say that is will no longer be recommended but will be mandatory. We expect further clarification on this point and will hope to give clear guidance ahead of the 8th of August deadline. However, it may be a good
idea to prepare congregations for this change by notifying them this week.
If you live or worship in one of the areas which has experienced a tightening of lockdown regulations then please look carefully at the advice and see what it means for your setting this weekend. Those for whom this does not apply please pray for these places and the people behind each statistic mentioned in the media.
As worshiping communities retain their permission to meet we must remember that being allowed to gather more than one household (or support bubble) for worship is a privilege which we must not take for granted. The speed of the announcement reminds us how fragile the current situation is and that we all need to continue to play our part in ensuring we limit, as much as possible, either unwittingly spreading the virus or becoming a contact of someone with the virus. Each parish needs to continue to be vigilant and respond appropriately to changing local circumstances.
Above all it is vital that we stand together with our colleagues from all faiths and hold our communities, places of worship and the nation before God in prayer.
Keep us, good Lord,
under the shadow of your mercy
in this time of uncertainty and distress.
Sustain and support the anxious and fearful,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may rejoice in your comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The Coronavirus Task Group