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Stay alert and safe during religious celebrations

Aldenham Parish Council / Council News / Stay alert and safe during religious celebrations

A reminder to stay alert and stay safe during religious celebrations
Over the coming months, Hertsmere Borough Council will, ahead of key religious or secular festivals and celebrations, be issuing advice and guidance to people on how to stay safe as efforts continue to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

With the Jewish High Holy days and New Year coming up, the council is wishing its local Jewish communities happy and peaceful celebrations and is reminding people to stay alert and safe.

Leader of the Council, Councillor Morris Bright MBE, said: “All religious communities in Hertsmere have shown great resolve throughout the coronavirus pandemic, adapting to a different way of life by attending virtual gatherings and live streaming religious services to their homes. Firstly, thank you all for everything you are all doing to help keep Hertsmere’s residents safe.

“The celebrations and events coming up in the next few weeks are an important time for our Jewish communities, often shared and celebrated with friends and family. Unfortunately, we are not through this pandemic yet and we have seen a notable increase in the area in recent days.  The challenge to prevent the spread of the virus is as important as ever.

“We have written to faith leaders within the Jewish community to offer our support and to help them and their communities prepare for Covid-19 safe celebrations.

“We also have plans to write and work with faith leaders ahead of other religious holidays and festivals in the coming weeks and will also issue advice before big secular celebrations too.

“All religious gatherings and celebratory events must be planned in accordance with government guidance and legal requirements, whether they take place inside places of worship or outdoors.”

Religious organisations are advised to complete a Covid-19 risk assessment for all activities and events. Sharing these risk assessments with the council early will enable us to provide feedback and advice to ensure your event can run as safely as possible, keeping our local religious communities safe.

The government has specific advice and guidance for special religious services and gatherings, safe use of places of worship, meeting people from outside your household and staying alert and safe. These can all be found of the gov.uk website.

Safer Neighbourhood Inspector for Hertsmere, Rachael Robertson said: “We join our council colleagues in sharing best wishes to the Jewish communities ahead of the High Holy days. As with other religious events this year, the pandemic has meant a change to the way we’ve had to mark them. As cases of COVID-19 nationally are on the rise, I’d reiterate advice to maintain social distancing and following government guidelines to ensure you and your family and friends remain safe and well.”

Organisers of official events involving more than six people must submit a notification form and a Covid-19 risk assessment to the Safety Advisory Team to ensure all reasonable steps are taken to mitigate the risk of viral transmission, in line with government guidance.  For more information visit www.hertsmere.gov.uk/organisinganevent

Director of Public Health for Hertfordshire, Jim McManus, said: “We are grateful to faith leaders and their teams across the county for the robust arrangements they have been putting in place to enable worship to continue safely and I thank them for their continued co-operation.

“Across Hertfordshire, we continue to urge everyone to ‘Play Your Part’ and follow some simple measures to prevent the spread of the virus.  Wash your hands as often as possible with soap and warm water or use a hand sanitiser; keep socially distant from others, particularly indoors; wear a face covering when required or it’s difficult to stay socially distant; and if you have symptoms, self-isolate and book a test immediately at www.gov.uk/coronavirus.”

Please visit: www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-places-of-worship-during-the-pandemic-from-4-july/high-holy-day-services-and-gatherings-covid-19-checklist  for the latest government guidance.

For more information and advice about coronavirus visit:
• Gov.UK www.gov.uk/coronavirus
• The Jewish Leadership Council https://jlcportal.info/
• NHS 111 https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19/
• NHS coronavirus www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/



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