Worshippers in England urged to avoid singing, shouting and raising their voices
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Worshippers in England urged to avoid singing, shouting and raising their voices

New government guidance states events such as bar-mitzvahs should have no more than 30 guests and recommends religious texts provided by the shul be 'quarantined' for two days

Italian synagogue is disinfected, as Jews prepare to get back to 'normal'

(Photo by Roberto Monaldo/LaPresse/Sipa USA)
Italian synagogue is disinfected, as Jews prepare to get back to 'normal' (Photo by Roberto Monaldo/LaPresse/Sipa USA)

Worshippers in England were urged to avoid singing, shouting and raising their voices to avoid the potential risk of transmission from droplets.

Guidance published by the Government on Monday ahead of the easing of restrictions on places of worship in England on 4 July cautions against playing instruments that are blown into and recommends playing recordings instead of live singing.

The advice states that wherever essential a single worshipper may be permitted to sing, with the possibility of using glass screens to shield other congregants.

Synagogues will be permitted to welcome more than 30 congregants per service, provided they adhere to social distancing guidelines.

But “life-cycle events” such as bar-mitzvahs should have no more than 30 people present unless as part of a routine service.

Worshippers should bring their own prayer books, but places of worship may offer a selection, which have been quarantined 48 hours after their last use.

The guidance also cautions against large wedding receptions, but permits small gatherings of up to two households when held indoors or of up to six guests from different households if outdoors.

Wedding ceremonies should be “concluded in the shortest reasonable time”, according to the guidance, which also states couples should wash their hands before and after exchanging rings, which should be handled by as few people as possible.

The guidance says no food or drink should be consumed as a part of wedding ceremonies “unless required for the purposes of solemnisation.”

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