Mayor calls for closure of places of worship in Greater London

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The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has declared a ‘major incident’ over rising cases of Covid-19 in the capital.

A statement released on Friday 8 January, reveals the Mayor has written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling for the closure of places of worship as well as for face masks to be worn routinely outside of the home – including in supermarket queues and other places outside that may be crowded.

However, a spokesman for the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, points out that the latest judgment of central government is that churches are safe:

“Our responsibility is to follow public health guidance, as set by central government, and make places of worship as safe as possible. This we have done, following the strict guidelines on the wearing of face masks, social distancing and consistent cleaning, and the latest judgment of central government is that our churches are safe.

“Furthermore, the government recognises that the regular practice of faith in God is a well-established source of personal resilience and dedicated service to those in need.  

“There is no evidence that Churches are places where infection is spreading. We will continue to abide by the public health guidance and work with government to ensure the continued safety of all who come to our churches for prayer and public worship.”