People observing the Islamic holy month of Ramadan are being reminded they must avoid social gatherings because of the risk of coronavirus.

Muslims are currently celebrating Ramadan with the month long fasting and observations of spiritual reflection set to end on Saturday 23 May. This will be followed by Eid, the festival of fast breaking where family and friends traditionally get together to attend special prayers and celebrate the end of the holy month.

The Government announced updated guidance on Sunday which people must follow to prevent the spread of coronavirus. It emphasised the importance of continuing to 'stay alert', and includes instructions that people stay at home as much as possible and limit contact with other people. Places of worship remain closed at this time.

These measures should be followed by everyone. Further guidelines are in place for individuals or households who are isolating, and for the most vulnerable who need to be shielded.

Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "Anyone can spread coronavirus, even if they don’t show symptoms. 

"Reducing our day to day contact with other people is the best way that we can to stop the spread of coronavirus, and to help save lives, and so we all need to follow the social distancing guidance – which includes avoiding social gatherings – for the safety of everyone.

“We know how difficult this is for families who want to get together with others to celebrate Ramadan, but it is incredibly important that everyone continues to adhere to the measures which remain in place.

“Places of worship remain closed, and organising gatherings in parks or open spaces to pray or celebrate faith, however well intentioned, must be discouraged at the current time. 

“Instead, please make use of online platforms and other ways to communicate with family and friends. We are aware of and support the huge efforts of mosques across Wolverhampton who have made the best use of technology to ensure their congregations are kept informed and able to share in the celebrations.”

Everyone must: 

  • stay at home as much as possible
  • work from home if you can
  • limit contact with other people
  • keep your distance if you go out
  • wash your hands regularly
  • stay at home and self isolate if you or anyone in your household has symptoms of coronavirus, including a new, continuous cough or a high temperature

The latest information and guidance around coronavirus is available at GOV.UK and on the council’s own coronavirus pages at Coronavirus advice and information. There’s lots of advice on how people can protect themselves and their families from coronavirus from the NHS.

The council’s Stay Safe, Be Kind campaign offers clear and simple advice about how people can help themselves, and how they can support others who may be particularly vulnerable at this time. For more information, please visit Stay Safe Be Kind.