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

Whilst many places of worship including mosques have now reopened for prayer and service, they will be COVID secure. This means that fewer people can attend than normally would. Therefore, please find out how your mosque is adapting by contacting them in advance.

Some faith leaders continue to use digital tools to bring worshippers together for prayers and sermons. Residents are encouraged to take advantage of these services where possible, to mark Eid-al-Adha safely.

Northampton residents in particular are being asked to follow additional guidance however residents across the county are encouraged to heed advice and make sure Eid can be celebrated safely by protecting the local community, reducing transmission rates and avoiding any local lockdown measures. This includes:

  • People should not hold or attend celebrations (such as parties) where it is difficult to maintain social distancing and avoid close social interaction
  • 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 a 2-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. There are also ongoing national limitations on 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
  • Residents should not socialise indoors in groups of more than two households (anyone in your support bubble counts as one household).

Cllr Jonathon Nunn, Leader of Northampton Borough 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.

“It’s unfortunate that Eid al-Adha is happening during this local spike in cases, especially as Eid al-Fitr took place during the lockdown period in May. But now more than ever, we need our Muslim communities to look after one another to help us drive down the rate of infections locally.

“Some mosques are using technology for prayers, supporting people to listen at home. We would encourage our communities to take advantage of these services where possible.

“I hope that by the next Eid we will be able to celebrate as we normally do. In the meantime, please stay safe. Eid Mubarak to everyone who is celebrating later this week.”

Lucy Wightman MFPH Director of Public Health at Northamptonshire County Council, 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 are available at Market Square and at St Andrew’s Hospital, just call 119 or book a test online.