Posted on Friday 16th April 2021
Residents observing Ramadan are being urged to continue following the latest coronavirus guidance and taking up the vaccine when eligible.
Ramadan is one of the holiest months in the Islamic calendar and an important time of the year for the Muslim community. This is this the second time Ramadan will be observed under coronavirus restrictions and is scheduled to begin on or around Monday 12 April - the same time as the next stage of the government roadmap comes into force.
Muslim communities are being encouraged to continue to follow the ‘Hands, Face, Space and Fresh Air’ message and to only socially meet up outdoors in public places or private gardens in groups of six people or two households.
People are permitted to visit their local Mosque but are being advised to contact in advance to make sure they can attend safely.
Dr Richard Harling, Staffordshire County Council’s Director of Health and Care said
“Like many of us, sacrifices and adjustments have had to be made over the last year and it’s unfortunate people will have to alter how they observe Ramadan for the second time running.
“Although we will be in the next stage of the government’s roadmap when Ramadan begins there is still important guidance in place to keep people safe.
“One piece of advice that does not change as regulations relax and Ramadan begins is the importance of getting tested regularly and taking up your vaccine when it’s offered – whether your first or second dose.
“Have a happy and safe Ramadan but remember the safest and most effective way to protect yourself, your family and those most at risk from the virus is by having a vaccine when you are offered it by the NHS. Please consider this if you are invited to have yours.”
BIMA (British Islamic Medical Association) and many other scholars feel that getting a coronavirus test during Ramadan does not break the fast. There are many options available to get tested if people remain unsure - if in doubt please speak to your local Imam for guidance.
People can collect testing kits for home use at community testing sites, the national testing site (which moves to Meadowside Drive car park from tomorrow) and local pharmacies. You can also order online for home use as from today. If you cannot order online, call 119. Lines are open 7am to 11pm and calls are free.
Full details of all the coronavirus testing options can be found at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/testing.
Further guidance on observing Ramadan safely this year has been issued by The Muslim Council of Britain https://mcb.org.uk/resources/ramadan and BIMA https://britishima.org/covid.