As the COVID-19 lockdown eases, various spaces are opening up to activity again including places of worship. The mandirs are also putting into place the guidance for reopening and individual traditions and their temples are already proceeding with their plans. It must be remembered that opening must be done in line with the government guidelines that have been issued in close consultation with the faiths in the UK. These are located at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-places-of-worship-during-the-pandemic-from-4-july
The HFB has been involved right from the beginning in consultation with various government ministries and departments and local government including the Mayor of London’s office. HFB has been actively engaged with all aspects of the impact of COVID-19 on the Hindu community through its President, the Vice-Presidents, and Senior committee members. The guidance given below is a result of these consultations and gives the key principles for reopening of the temples that must be considered and adapted according to the spaces and circumstances of the individual temples.
We have compiled a list of useful resources to assist you in reopening your respective Mandirs and community centres, and to help your community stay safe:
- The Government has published guidance on special religious services and gatherings which can be accessed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-places-of-worship-during-the-pandemic-from-4-july/special-religious-services-and-gatherings-covid-19-checklist
- The Government has published guidance on Guidance on safe disposal of waste which can be accessed at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-disposing-of-waste#cleaning-waste
- The Government has published information on local restrictions and lockdown measures which can be accessed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/local-restrictions-areas-with-an-outbreak-of-coronavirus-covid-19
- Strengthening Faith Institutions (SFI), has published comprehensive guidance on best practice for reopening places of worship which can be accessed at: https://www.sfitogether.org/2020/07/01/best-practise-for-reopening-places-of-worship/
- ISKCON have published comprehensive guidelines and a template tracking tool to support other centres with risk assessments. This can be requested at: https://www.iskconconnection.org/en/civicrm/mailing/view?reset=1&id=756