New COVID-19 legislation and guidance to 12 December

This is the latest weekly update covering the legislation and guidance on coronavirus COVID-19, and includes events to 12 December*.

Sunday 6 December to Saturday 12 December

Law and Religion UK

Church of England

Wednesday 09 December at 17:54.

Following the publication of the government’s COVID-19: guidance for the safe use of places of worship from 2 December, (updated 1 December 2020), the following updates have been made:§

New Documents

  • COVID-19: opening cathedral and church buildings to the public, v.5. Updates from version 4: References to the tier system; Updated links to all government and Church of England guidance. (9 December 2020).
  • COVID-19 Vaccines update December 2020, v.1, a “short briefing note [which] addresses some questions that are likely to emerge”. Whilst most useful in a pastoral context, it does address the questions of: “Will we able to stop wearing face coverings, maintaining social distancing etc?” [Answer, ‘No’]; and “Should parishes offer their church buildings or church halls as vaccination centres?” [Answer, ‘While some church properties might be suitable, many will not’]. (8 December 2020).
  • COVID-19 Churches as vaccination centres, v1, Sets out some of the logistical issues that churches might consider when deciding if their buildings could be appropriate centres. See our post, supra. (8 December 2020).

Updated Documents

Whilst Government guidance has been revised to allow certain activities to take place in church buildings, it is still vital that the necessary hygiene and social distancing precautions are kept in place in order to protect the NHS and save lives. 

Other churches and faith organizations






  • Singing over the festive period, Welsh Government. How sing safely over the Christmas period, including carol singing and worship services. (10 December 2020). Also see our post, supra.§

Other guidance

Health Protection Surveillance Centre, Dublin


  • Christmas ringing – England. Agreement with HoB Covid Recovery Team that an exception should be made to the current ringing guidance across all Tiers in England for those bands that wish to ring for services over Christmas, in the period where the household restrictions are also being lifted. This will allow bells to be rung for key services including those on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and also for the 6pm Christmas Eve ringing. (8 December 2020).

Post last updated, 10 December 2020 at 14:06. 

*Information on COVID-19 on L&RUK

These updates are published at the start of each week; they are not reissued, but new items are added throughout the week as they become available, providing a “rolling update” of the latest developments during the current week. They are also added to COVID-19 Coronavirus: legislation and guidance which is the main source of  information; those items in the weekly updates yet to be added are marked “§“.  The updates for the earlier weeks are here.

Church of England documents

For Church of England documents, the information on the document itself – date and version number – is a better indication of the date of publication than the date/time of new documents on the CofE web site.

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Cite this article as: David Pocklington, "New COVID-19 legislation and guidance to 12 December" in Law & Religion UK, 8 December 2020,

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