Dear Sir and Brother,
Changes to Covid alert levels in England and what this means for masonic activities
Today’s announcement by the Secretary of State for Health that London, Essex, York and other areas face tougher Tier 2 Covid measures from Saturday, is a stark reminder, if one were needed, of the increasing prevalence of the coronavirus which has implications for our masonic activities.
We have already had to respond to a tightening of coronavirus restrictions in some parts of the North of England where several of our jurisdictions are now subject to special measures and a local suspension of masonic meetings.
In those areas affected by today’s announcement, it’s important that you follow the same path to ensure that the safety and well-being of your members is preserved. This note is intended to help you decide what action you may need to take.
Tier 1 – areas are subject to the basic national rules previously in force which means that masonic meetings may continue, provided that the Rule of Six is complied with and the venue is covid-secure.
Tier 2 – the rules for Tier 1 also apply in Tier 2 with the addition that you are not allowed to meet socially indoors with people from other households. It is unclear whether these restrictions apply to masonic meetings so until we have enough clarity on this point, a local suspension of face to face meetings should be imposed.
Tier 3 – areas with the most rapidly rising transmission rates are placed in this Tier. No masonic meetings should be permitted in these area, and the imposition of a local suspension should be enacted immediately.
I have already issued detailed guidance about holding virtual business meetings which enable administrative tasks to be transacted by any Unit while face to face meetings cannot take place. For so long as it is necessary to impose local suspensions in any jurisdiction, Units must be encouraged to make use of the scheme wherever possible.
If it is necessary to impose a local suspension of face to face meetings in your area, please let me know as soon as this has been enacted so that our local suspensions tracker can be updated.
The coming weeks are likely to herald difficult times for us all, but we must remain resolute, keep the business of our Orders ticking over via virtual platforms and maintain the interest of our members until better times arrive.
With fraternal regards and best wishes.
R.W.Bro. Ryan A Williams, P.G.J.W.
15th October 2020
Download a copy of the letter HERE