Prime Minister Boris Johnson has lauded places of worships across Bradford for their effort in making themselves Covid-safe.
While debating in Commons, Johnson said he understands the difficulties and frustration the religious institutions are facing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the second lockdown.
He, however, said that it is very important for people to adhere to the latest lockdown measure to curb the rise in coronavirus cases in Britain.
Johnson said, “I really appreciate what mosques around the country have done to make themselves covid secure, and what has been done in Bradford and elsewhere. I know how frustrating it is for places of worship that we have had to take these steps.
“All I can say is that we need to take them together as a country to get the R down and to get the virus down. We will continue to ensure that people get the support they need in the way that I outlined earlier,” he added.
Johnson’s response came after the Bradford East MP Imran Hussain (Labour) highlighted the concern in his constituency.
Hussain said, “Many of my constituents from all faiths have raised serious concerns about the restrictions that will effectively close religious institutions at a time when people need more than ever the comfort and security that their faith provides, putting a heavy burden on people’s mental health”.
He said that places of worship have gone to great lengths to put Covid-secure measures in place and have demonstrated that congregational prayers can safely happen, with Bradford Council for Mosques, in particular, leading on that work.
“I urge the Prime Minister to look again at places of worship and more measured policies. Given that they have had no financial support since the beginning of the pandemic, will he ensure that they get the financial support they need?”, Hussain added.
Earlier, during the debate, Johnson had said that places of worship could remain open for individual prayer, funerals and formal childcare, but sadly not for services.
“However, Remembrance Sunday events can go ahead, provided they are held outside and observe social distancing,” he said.