A mosque has announced it will close its doors once again to worshippers from today.

The Masjid Darussalam, based on Whalley New Road will be closing from today (July 15) citing the ‘current COVI-19 situation localised to Blackburn with Darwen.”

In an announcement the mosque said, “It is with great regret that we have had to make the decision to lose the masjid doors to ALL prayers until further notice. We as a community need to help each other to fight this pandemic.”

The mosque was one of many across the UK who opened their doors to worshippers last week. Mosques also hosted their first Jummah (Friday) prayers since the lockdown last week with major restrictions. All worshippers were being asked to bring their own prayer mats and wear masks as well maintain social distance throughout their visit.

No other mosques have as yet announced any plans to halt Jummah prayers this week.

The announcement comes as Blackburn with Darwen and Pendle saw sharp increases in the number of residents testing positive for Covid-19 putting them second and third behind Leicester.

In Blackburn with Darwen it rose from 29.5 per 100,000 to 41.

New ‘special measures’ have been announced for Blackburn with Darwen residents for the next month and the council is now asking residents to limit meeting or gathering; All residents are being told to wear cloth face covering (or non-surgical masks) in all enclosed public spaces including shops, workplaces, libraries, museums etc in advance of the government making them mandatory in shops from on July 24.

Speaking earlier this week Professor Dominic Harrison, Blackburn with Darwen’s public health director said, “Over the 14 days to July 11 the data is showing us we had 114 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Blackburn with Darwen. Of these, 97 where from South Asian heritage communities.

“This data is also showing us the average age of infection is falling significantly with 20 per cent of those new cases in the last two weeks in residents under 19 and more cases in the 20 to 30 age group.

“The cases in the South Asian community are the ones clustering in households and these households are more likely to be in areas of smaller terraced housing with larger multi-generational families.”