This post includes a rolling update of new legislation and guidance on coronavirus COVID-19 during the week commencing 23 May 2021*.
Sunday 23 May to Saturday 29 May 2021
- COVID-19: guidance for the safe use of places of worship and special religious services and gatherings during the pandemic, MHCLG, (24 May 2021). This links to the following guidance, and, not before time, removes the inconsistency on the application of the rule of six to non-professional singers. However, the restriction on six non-professional singers remains:
- COVID-19: guidance for the safe use of places of worship, MHCLG, (24 May 2021), and
- Celebrating religious festivals during coronavirus (COVID-19), MHCLG, (24 May 2021).
- COVID-19) Coronavirus restrictions: what you can and cannot do, MHCLG, (29 May 2021). Includes If you’re in an area where the new COVID-19 variant is spreading, see question by Jonathan Ashworth (Leicester South) (Lab/Co-op) HC Hansard 25 May 2021 Vol 696 Col 245.§
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for the safe use of places of worship, (27 May 2021). To be read in conjunction with Coronavirus (COVID-19) protection levels: what you can do, (21 May 2021), as explained in our post, infra.§
Church of England‡
- News Release: Update on singing in churches, “We are reminding the Government of the importance we place on singing to lift our prayers to God, and look ahead to step four and the enabling of the singing of choirs and congregations to fill our churches and cathedrals once more.” (24 May 2021).
The Big RSCM Music Sunday Service – Encouraging Solidarity in Song Following the Government’s Restrictions on Singing, Together with key partner organisations, Making Music, The Association of British Choral Directors and The Incorporated Society of Musicians, RSCM has been working to advocate a revision to the guidance which states that only six people can sing together; and to enable a safe return to choirs singing again.(24 May 2021). §
- 22nd May: There has been no change to guidance this week. England is in Stage 3 with the Rule of Six applying indoors. Guidance suggests a limit of 45 minutes subject to 1m+ social distancing rules, hand sanitising, face coverings, lateral flow tests in certain circumstances, and good ventilation. Detailed guidance Guidance 17 May to 21 June.
Law and Religion UK
- Law and religion round-up – 23 May. Church of England: Holy Communion update; In Quires and Places where they sing – maybe; “Take me to your leader” (singing, again). §
- COVID-19: unexpected choral clampdown. (Last updated 26 May 2021).§
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): places of worship in Scotland, (27 May 2021).§
Post last updated, 30 May 2021 at 18:22.
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, and listed with the newest items last (unlike the CofE documents, infra); items in the weekly updates yet to be added are marked “§“. The updates for the earlier weeks are here.
Church of England documents are listed under their full title and issue number, in the same order as they appear on the Church’s web site.