Diwali will be celebrated on Saturday, 14 November. It is a time when families, neighbours and friends come together, but we all need to be extra careful at the moment because of the coronavirus.
With new national restrictions in place across England, Diwali celebrations will need to take place within the restrictions placed on all of us.
Mixing with family and friends during Diwali
The risk of transmission of the COVID-19 virus increase when households mix.
The new national lockdown restrictions, in place from Thursday (5 November) until Wednesday, 2 December, mean that people need to stay at home, not get together with people you do not live with and the closure of certain businesses and venues.
This means you must not meet socially indoors with family or friends that are not part of your household or support bubble. A household means anyone who usually lives together under the same roof and share facilities.
Any family members who do not normally live with you (and are not part of your support bubble), need to be treated as a separate household.
You also must not leave or be outside of your home except for specific purposes. These include:
- For childcare or education, where this is not provided online
- For work purposes, if you cannot work from home
- To exercise outdoors or visit an outdoor public place – with the people you live with, with your support bubble or, when on your own, with one person from another household (children under school age, as well as those dependent on round-the-clock care, such as those with severe disabilities, who are with their parents will not count towards the limit on two people meeting outside)
- For any medical concerns, reasons, appointments and emergencies, or to avoid or escape risk of injury or harm – such as domestic abuse
- Shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which should be as infrequent as possible
- To visit members of your support bubble or provide care for vulnerable people, or as a volunteer.
Places of worship
All places of worship will only be open for individual prayer or they may be closed. This includes Temples and Gurdwaras. Please contact your place of worship to find out how they will be supporting Diwali through virtual worship or how you can attend for individual prayer.
Please do not congregate outside places of worship with your family and friends. This puts you and them at greater risk of infection.
Do – keep social distancing in place, especially with people outside of your household.
Do – check in advance with your venue of worship and follow any guidance they have in place.
Do – wear a face covering
Do – provide your contact details, if asked for them, to support the NHS Test and Trace service designed to track and help prevent the spread of COVID-19. This can be done through the NHS Test and Trace app.
If you do not follow the restrictions, the police have the powers to enforce them and issue fines of £200 which can double for any further breaches up to a maximum of £6,400.
Council leader Julian Bell said: “We will be celebrating a number of autumnal and religious events differently this year so that we can keep ourselves and others safe.
“As hard as it is, when we all want to be spending these special times with family and friends, please do keep within your own household. And maybe consider how you can virtually celebrate from your own homes with family and friends.
“Festivals are an important part of residents’ lives and we want to make sure they are celebrated safely. We know this might be disappointing but it’s important to remember that the virus is still with us and we need to do all we can to protect ourselves and our family and friends.”
If you have any of the main 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 stay at home where you should isolate.
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