Diwali takes place this weekend, and people who will be marking the festival of light are being asked to take extra care because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Like so many other events – religious or otherwise – this year, Diwali will be severely impacted by Covid-19.

Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "People will naturally want to celebrate Diwali with family and friends as they would do normally, with fireworks, parties, and people coming together in one another’s homes.

"However, that simply won't be possible this year; the lockdown restrictions mean big family get togethers are not allowed because people from different households cannot mix indoors or in private gardens, unless they are in a support bubble together.

"Places of worship, including temples, have also had to close, except for individual prayer and funerals.

"Instead, families are encouraged to keep in touch with one another virtually and celebrate Diwali through video calling apps like Zoom. People can of course still decorate their homes and families who live together, or are in a support bubble, can enjoy a feast or sweet treats at home.

“However you choose to mark Diwali 2020, please make sure you celebrate this year's festival of light safely by following the lockdown and Hands, Face, Space guidance – and please have a wonderful time."

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. Details of the national lockdown measures in effect until 2 December, and the answers to frequently asked questions, are available at COVID Alert.   

Symptoms of Covid-19 include a fever, a new, continuous cough and loss or change to a person’s sense of taste and smell. To book a test, visit GOV.UK or call 119. People can get tested within 8 days of developing symptoms. 

Latest data shows there were 293.16 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 people in Wolverhampton over the 7 days to 6 November. That means that around 770 people in the city tested positive for the virus in the same 7 day period – though the true figure will be higher.