Staying safe this Eid Al-Adha

This Eid Al-Adha it is more important than ever to make sure you and your family are staying safe in Sandwell.

Mosques have now reopened and have put in measures to ensure they are Covid secure.

This means that fewer people can attend than normally would.

Please find out how your mosque is adapting by contacting your local mosque.

Some faith leaders continue to use digital tools to bring worshippers together for prayers and sermons and we would encourage you to take advantage of these services where possible, to mark Eid-Al-Adha safely.

To avoid any local lockdown measures, we want residents to make sure Eid can be celebrated safely by asking everyone to follow government guidance:

• If attending Eid prayers indoors, follow the mosque’s social distancing and hygiene procedures. Face coverings should be worn at all times in mosques, in addition to keeping at least a 1 metre distance from anyone you don’t live with.

• If driving to the mosque, do not car share – travel only with the people you live with.

• The council is not allowing any organised Eid prayers in parks this year. This is due to the rising rates of COVID-19 in the borough.

The advice is that no more than 30 people gathering outdoors.

If prayers take place outdoors on mosque premises, to allow for social distancing inside the mosque, mosques must carry out the necessary risk assessments and worshippers must practice safe social distancing.

• Visits to the cemetery should not happen unless absolutely necessary – and only travel there with the people you live with.

Any essential visits to cemeteries must take place before or after the operational hours of 9am to 5pm when funerals may be taking place.

• Celebrate Eid only with the people you live with – we recommend you don’t allow anyone from another household into your home, and don’t visit anyone else in their home. Councillor Maria Crompton, deputy leader of Sandwell Council, said: “We have all made huge sacrifices in the past few months and I know how hard it has been for you and your families.

We must not reverse all this good work and it’s important we continue to keep our distance from those we do not live with.

Stay alert this Eid when you attend prayers and while spending time celebrating with family and friends. “I hope that this time next year we will be able to celebrate as we normally do. In the meantime please stay safe and Eid Mubarak.” Lisa McNally, Director of Public Health said: “Thank you for everything you have done over recent months to help us fight the spread of the virus. I know that normally you would be celebrating this special time in different circumstances and in different ways.

I hope you can do so again soon. “Please do continue to keep your distance from those people you don’t live with, wash your hands more frequently for at least 20 seconds during the day, and stay alert during this difficult time.” If you have symptoms of coronavirus - a new continuous cough, a high temperature or loss or change to your sense of smell or taste - get a test immediately and isolate at home. You should not invite anyone to your house, go to other houses or the mosque, and you should not prepare food for others. Your local mobile testing sites by visiting www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or call 119.

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