Health officials urge shul-goers to take Covid tests for High Holy Days

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Health officials urge shul-goers to take Covid tests for High Holy Days

Sajid Javid and Dr Jenny Harries call on the community to be cautious when celebrating the High Holy Days

Sajid Javid
Sajid Javid

Shul-goers have been urged to adhere to Covid measures during the High Holy Days by senior health officials.

The call was made after the United Synagogue recommended congregants take a Covid lateral flow test before attending services for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid wished “everyone in the Jewish community a fantastic Rosh Hashanah and a healthy and happy new year.”

Meanwhile, Dr Jenny Harries, Chief Executive of the UK Health and Security Agency, urged vigilance saying, while “working with local communities to help keep them safe is a critical part” of her work, “around one in three people with COVID-19 do not display symptoms, meaning anyone can infect someone close to them unwittingly.

“Our work with the Jewish Community to encourage its members to get tested regularly is just one way in which we are helping one another to return to a more normal way of life.”

Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl echoed the call for regular testing to ensure safety on the High Holy Days, which “are the most sacred days in the Jewish calendar.

“For many of our communities, this may be the first large synagogue services held in many months, which is sure to be an exciting and inspiring occasion.

“Whilst we are proud that vaccine uptake in the Jewish community appears to be excellent, there is no room for complacency and we encourage all members of the community to ensure that New Year this year is Covid-safe, as well as sweet.”

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