United Synagogue leaders have been urged not to permit children under the age of 12 to attend services during the initial reopening period.
While “some children will be familiar with social distancing rules from school, many will find it difficult to sit next to their parents for the entirety of a service,” explained United Synagogue’s Jo Grose and Rabbi Nicky Liss in an email to rabbonim and chairs on Friday.
The movement is awaiting the publication of the Government’s official reopening guidance for places of worship before releasing its own detailed rules, they said.
Shuls should focus on holding weekday services before welcoming larger crowds on Shabbat. They should also avoid reopening for the first time on 4 July, with the exception of already scheduled, socially distanced barmitzvah ceremonies.
United Synagogue also recommended that congregants wear face-coverings indoors, book in advance and maintain the two metre rule. “In our settings, the length of time spent together in services and the age profile of many of our members highlights the importance of maintaining this distance, both indoors and outdoors,” the email read.
United Synagogue is awaiting further official advice on the maximum number of congregants allowed to attend services other than weddings. “Our aim should be to limit the number of people on our sites to a reasonable number,” it said.