COVID-19 cases recorded as originating from places of worship: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

How many cases of the transmission of Covid originated from public worship in Scottish churches since 15 July - if possible, the numbers for Catholic Churches?

How far did these cases affect the R rate?


While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance we are unable to provide the information you have requested because an exemption under section 17(1) (Information not held) of FOISA applies to that information. The reason is that Public Health Scotland (PHS) has information on cases recalling where they have been in the period before the onset of symptoms. These figures are updated in the Settings tab of the interactive dashboard Dashboard - Data & intelligence from PHS ( You may wish to contact PHS for more details.

Throughout the epidemic, having a clear route for synthesising scientific evidence and presenting that to Government is important. To do this, scientific advice is provided by the Scottish Government COVID-19 Advisory Group, details of which can be found at Scottish Government COVID-19 Advisory Group - (

The Scottish Government is informed by SAGE, and its sub groups. Details can be found at:

The latest publically available evidence from SAGE is here: The evidence is under continual review.

The pandemic is a global health crisis, but with devastating wider impacts. The measures we have asked people to comply with have been disruptive to normal life but necessary to minimise transmission risks, and protect lives and the NHS. The safety of the public is the Government’s priority and we will continue to work intensively alongside analytical partners across the Scottish Government, National Records of Scotland, Public Health Scotland and the NHS to consider how we can better understand the impact of COVID-19 on the people of Scotland.

The Scottish Government considers a wide range of evidence when making decisions on restrictions. Details on impacts from economic, general wellbeing, mental health and anxiety and other non-Covid related health harms can be found in the four harms dashboard which is updated weekly and can be found at On the 11th of December an evidence paper was published which discusses in detail the four harms. On pages 16 to 18 you will find a summary of the science behind COVID-19.


About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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