Police have broken up a group of strictly Orthodox men in Hackney who were praying in a garden on Sunday morning.
Despite warnings circulated in recent weeks by Jewish community leaders in Stamford Hill and doctors not to hold outdoor services, the men appeared to believe it permissible to gather in a private garden as long as they observed social distancing from each other.
The Metropolitan Police said, “Officers in Hackney were alerted to a small number of individuals praying together in a back garden at a residential address in Queen Elizabeth Walk, Hackney, on the morning of Sunday April 12.”
They “spoke with them to remind them of the government guidance, including on social distancing, and to advise the individuals who did not live at the address to return home.
“Two individuals then left the venue.”
A week before Pesach a letter from Jewish doctors aimed at Stamford Hill warned that “a disproportionate number” within the Jewish community had been hospitalised in a serious condition.