MUSLIM residents of a borough have been issued with coronavirus guidance for visits to gravesides to mark the end of Ramadan.

Blackburn with Darwen Council and the Lancashire Council of Mosques offered safety advice for those observing Islamic traditions and visiting Pleasington Cemetery this weekend.

Laylat al-Qadr, the 27th night of Ramadan which falls on Saturday or Sunday is a traditional time for Muslims to visit the graves of loved ones.

Sayyed Osman, Blackburn with Darwen Council’s strategic director of adults and health, said: “We considered carefully whether night-time visits to the cemetery on the night of Laylat al-Qadr are appropriate this year.

“We feel that as it is still early in our Covid-19 recovery, it is in the public safety interest to close the cemetery as normal at 10pm. This allows for visits between the normal opening hours of 8am to 10pm.

“On Eid-ul-Fitr, which will fall on Wednesday or Thursday, the normal cemetery opening hours will apply.

“We will not be operating a park and ride due to Covid-19. Vehicles will not be allowed into the main cemetery for Eid visitors. We would encourage the Muslim community to park in the main Pleasington car parks and walk to the cemetery.”

Maulana Rafiq Sufi, chair of the Lancashire Council Mosques, said: “We appreciate that it is important to our Muslim residents to pay respects to loved ones at the graveside on Eid day.

“This Eid in particular will be more poignant for those families who have tragically lost loved ones during the pandemic.

“Please continue to follow the government rules around gathering in groups of six outside.”