As the UK lifts its second lockdown on December 2, the government has released guidelines for the Christmas season about how to lessen the risk of Coronavirus infection as it allows outdoor carol services and Nativity plays, reports Premier Christian News.
According to the UK government, “From 2nd December, you can attend places of worship in all tiers. The rules on who you can meet with whilst at places of worship will depend on your tier. Between 23rd and 27th December, you may also attend a place of worship with members of your Christmas bubble. This applies in all tiers.”
While indoor singing is limited to performance only, we can all take part in outdoor door-to-door singing, staying two meters apart or away from the threshold, and the nativity plays for under 18s are permitted in accordance with the performing arts guidance. —Andrew Selous, Member of Parliament of the UK
Regions in England are placed in one of three tiers: medium (1), high (2), and very high (3). The majority of England is placed in tiers two and three, according to BBC. Areas in tier 3 have the most restrictions, including a ban on socializing with people not in your household, or is not in your support bubble.
To limit the number of attendees, churches are planning to hold multiple services to accommodate less people at each service and minimize the risk of transmission of Coronavirus.
Caroling is part of Christmas, and while Coronavirus is transmitted through small droplets, aerosols and direct contact, the Government advised people to take steps to reduce the risk of transmission:
1. People with symptoms or those who have had contact with others who have Covid-19 should not participate in singing or attend singing events.
2. Singing should only take place in larger, well-ventilated spaces or outdoors.
3. Performances or rehearsals should be for limited periods of time at a reduced level of loudness, using microphones if available.
4. Limit the number of people who sing together.
5. Singers should be spaced at least two meters apart in all directions (at least one meter apart if the additional measures are applied).
Churches that will hold carol services will be subject to local gathering limits. Choirs can perform in indoor venues, but the audience are advised against singing, shouting, or chanting.
Christian Member of Parliament Andrew Selous said, “While indoor singing is limited to performance only, we can all take part in outdoor door-to-door singing, staying two meters apart or away from the threshold, and the nativity plays for under 18s are permitted in accordance with the performing arts guidance.”
Out to Perform welcomed the concrete guidelines on Christmas activities. The group previously appealed to the government to allow safe caroling when the lockdown is lifted since the activity raises $13 million for charities during the Christmas season.