Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for the safe use of places of worship

Published: 19 Jun 2020

Guidance to help places of worship safely open for limited permitted activities, including individual prayer or contemplation.

Contents
Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for the safe use of places of worship
Overview

Overview

From Monday, 22 June,  places of worship in Scotland are allowed to reopen for individual prayer or contemplation, subject to physical distancing and hygiene safeguards.

We recognise the important role places of worship play in providing spiritual leadership to many people, and the difficulties experienced by faith communities in being unable to come together.

This guidance is to help places of worship who wish to reopen for individual prayer or contemplation to do so as safely as possible. It does not constitute legal advice.

It is not an instruction to reopen for individual prayer or contemplation. Each place of worship should make its own decision about when it is ready to do this.

Under the law to date, places of worship have only been permitted to open for funerals with limited attendance, broadcasting acts of worship and essential voluntary services. The permitted uses have now been extended to include individual prayer or contemplation.

We have also published guidance for places of worship on holding funeral services

It is now permitted for an individual or household group to enter a place of worship to pray or take part in religious or spiritual contemplation on their own. Praying as part of a wider group, taking part in scheduled communal acts of worship or prayer or attending pre-arranged gatherings within a place of worship (including for led prayer) is not yet allowed.

The reopening of places of worship for individual prayer or contemplation is part of Phase 2 of Scotland’s framework for easing restrictions on lockdown.

We will continue to consider how to allow places of worship to safely reopen for additional uses in Phase 3 of our route map, taking account of medical and scientific advice.