Other permitted uses
Where a place of worship is used by external groups, only those activities which are permitted to take place should be available. See a list of businesses which cannot yet operate, and activity that is still restricted includes:
- indoor fitness/exercise groups
- indoor soft play
- indoor performances in front of a live audience, including dramatic, musical or comedy performances. Read the guidance on preparing for reopening for performing art events when it is safe to do so.
Place of worship as workplaces
Many places of worship are also workplaces and should therefore be aware of their responsibilities as employers under health and safety law. Places of worship also have a duty of care to volunteers, to ensure that as far as reasonably practicable they are not exposed to risks to their health and safety. See guidance on returning to work.
Education, early years and childcare use
Places of worship that provide educational settings (including study groups and faith supplementary schools), early years and childcare services should follow the relevant guidance that sets out which individuals can attend and the measures and approaches that should be put in place to keep people safe. See:
- school age childcare services guidance
- childminder services reopening guidance
- physical distancing advice for education and childcare settings
- Guidance for the community learning and development sector
Lifestyle and recreational groups and meetings
Small meetings and gatherings are now permitted in line with the rules on indoor gatherings. Groups which involve the playing of instruments that require breath to operate and singing, chanting or shouting should be avoided.
Hospitality spaces within places of worship, such as cafes, are permitted to open. Guidance for the hospitality sector should be followed. Informal hospitality, such as lunch clubs and coffee mornings are permitted in line with restrictions on indoor gatherings.
Read the guidance on the opening of public toilets, including hygiene measures that should be taken.
Tourism and retail
Buildings can now be opened for most tourism and retail purposes and places of worship should follow relevant guidance on managing this. People visiting places of worship for these purposes should also follow relevant guidance.