Barnet Council: garden minyanim not allowed under new rules

But shuls can arrange outdoor overflow services


Barnet Council has written to residents to say that garden minyanim will not be allowed as a result of new government restrictions in England that come into force on Monday.

Only six people will be allowed to socialise indoors or outdoors, although there are exemptions from weddings, funerals and other life-cycle events where the limit is 30.

The council with the largest Jewish population in the country said that “a minyan in a private garden, public park or other public outdoor space will not be allowed and those who hold one or take part may be fined”.

Tamara Djuretic, the council’s director of public health, and the mayor, Caroline Stock, said synagogues may hold “overflow services under their auspices in buildings such as public halls or community centres and their adjoining outdoor spaces, providing all of the Covid-19 risk analysis and planning has taken place and use has been authorised by Barnet Council.”

There is no limit to the number of people attending a religious service in a recognised place of worship provided social distancing is maintained and masks worn indoors.

Jewish organisations have been holding talks with the government to try to clarify the position on outdoor Rosh Hashanah events.

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