The government has been criticised over its failure to communicate after its sudden decision to tighten localised coronavirus restrictions in parts of the north-west of England on the eve of Eid celebrations for Muslims.
The new localised lockdown measures, which are in place for Greater Manchester, parts of East Lancashire, West Yorkshire and Leicester, will outlaw meetings between different households indoors.
Health secretary Matt Hancock has defended the abrupt decision late on Thursday evening, saying it was important to make these decisions quickly as “With no action at all, the virus doubles every three days so it is is important to move fast and sometimes that means communicating very rapidly”.
These new measures mean many Muslims in northern England will no longer be able to celebrate Eid with their family. Tthe Muslim Council of Britain has criticised the government for its lack of communication regarding these sudden measures which will cause disruption for Muslims around the country who had been hoping to meet with family this weekend to celebrate Eid.
The group’s secretary-general, Harun Khan, said: “For Muslims in the affected areas, it is like being told they cannot visit family and friends for Christmas on Christmas Eve itself.”
Khan added: “Failure to communicate makes it difficult for communities across the country to continue working together to minimise the spread of the virus, whilst eroding trust in the ability of authorities to steer our course as we tackle the Covid-19 crisis.”
Hancock confirmed that these new restrictions would mean that people would not be able to have ‘household engagements’ as he said: “we’ve seen that’s how the disease spreads”.
He did however say that Muslims “will be able to go to mosques” to celebrate.