The county's directors of public health have issued safety advice for people celebrating upcoming religious festivals.

As Holi, Passover, Easter, Ramadan, Eid and other religious festival are fast approaching, the three Directors of Public Health in Lancashire are asking people to follow guidelines around the festivals.

These celebrations will take place as coronavirus restrictions begin to be relaxed, in line with the government’s four-step road map however Professor Dominic Harrison, Dr Sakthi Karunanithi and Dr Arif Rajpura have penned a letter asking people to follow guidance closely.

In a letter to the public, the directors have said: "Our faith communities have worked tirelessly since the beginning of the pandemic to keep people safe, and we applaud all their efforts.

"We appreciate that the coming weeks and months will be significant for many faith communities across Lancashire, especially as they may not have been able to celebrate these important festivals last year.

"Celebrations have potential for significant social mixing and therefore an increased risk of Covid-19 transmission – and we therefore need to urge communities to continue to follow the government guidance closely.

"This is often a period of reflection, reconciliation, renewal and restraint but ultimately celebration within households, or with limited outdoor social mixing, in line with the relaxed restrictions. Therefore, we must ask people to follow government guidance and protect themselves, their families and friends. "

This years, the dates in the religious calendar may be more significant for people of faith after these celebrations fell early in the first lockdown last year.

Locally, the vaccination programme is going very well, with more than 773,000 people now vaccinated across Lancashire and South Cumbria as the country is set to reduce lockdown measures allowing the rule of 6 or two households to meet outdoors.

Everyone in Lancashire is reminded to follow the public health safety guidance:

  • follow the social distancing rules
  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • wash your hands as soon as you get home
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • let fresh air into your home by opening windows, doors and air vents as much as possible
  • wear face coverings (unless exempt) where required by law, such as shops, public transport, places of worship