Congregants might face temperature tests when shuls reopen
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Congregants might face temperature tests when shuls reopen

'If taking temperatures is required in order to enter places of worship, then non-touch infrared thermometers would be permitted provided the person operating it isn’t Jewish' 

Jack Mendel is the Online Editor at the Jewish News.

Someone has their temperature checked amid the coronavirus outbreak
Someone has their temperature checked amid the coronavirus outbreak

Shulgoers face having their temperatures taken when Jewish religious buildings reopen to the public.

This comes after the government allowed places of worship to reopen for individual prayers on 15 June.

Earlier in the month, Chief Rabbi Mirvis issued caution on the easing of lockdown, which should “not come at the expense of human lives.”

The United Synagogue said it had been investigating the benefit and practicality of devices for taking the temperature of attendees at shul, to see if they may have a fever, one of the key symptoms of coronavirus.

“Despite planning for the eventuality that government does make temperature checks compulsory, the United Synagogue feels it unlikely that taking congregants’ temperatures will be required and questioned its efficacy given that someone asymptomatic can spread the virus as well.”

Dayan Menachem Gelley, Rosh Beth Din of the London Beth Din, said: “If taking people’s temperatures is required by the Government in order to enter places of worship, then non-touch infrared thermometers would be permitted to be used, provided the person operating it isn’t Jewish, such as by the shul caretaker.”

Earlier in the week, Israel’s Charedi and Sephardi leaders clashed over the use of non-touch thermometers on Shabbat, because hospitals in the country require anyone entering to have a temperature taken.

Five Charedi rabbis said in an official letter that the temperature checks mean it is forbidden to enter a hospital on Shabbat, unless it is a life-threatening situation, while Israel’s Sephardic chief rabbi, Yitzhak Yosef, ruled that it is permitted if a person’s temperature is automatically taken.

read more:
comments