New Covid rules allow shuls to stay open but wedding celebrations are cut to 15 people

Boris Johnson says that 'places of worship are staying open'


There was relief for synagogues which have organised festival services as Boris Johnson said today that “places of worship are staying open”.

However, announcing a raft of new coronavirus restrictions for England which could last for up to six months, the Prime Minister also said that weddings would now be limited to a maximum of 15 people. Funerals can still be attended by up to 30 people.

With Kol Nidre only five days away, communal leaders hope that scheduled services can go ahead, as long as rules on social distancing are observed. Last week, the government released a lengthy list of measures needed to be follow to allow High Holy-Day activities. It was acknowledged that the "rule of six" would have a particular impact on the tradition of hospitality around Succot.

Addressing MPs in the Commons, Mr Johnson said that “even now, we can draw some comfort from the fact schools and universities and places of worship are staying open”.

Fines for breaking laws on gatherings and not wearing a mask will increase to £200 for a first offence.

The PM also warned that "significantly greater restrictions" would be implemented if necessary. Police and local authorities would be provided with extra funding to enforce the regulations.

He asked office workers to work from home if they could do so and said that pubs, bars and restaurants would have to close at 10pm and would be restricted to table service only.


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