No change to guidance on church services as Government restricts social gatherings

(Photo: Facebook/Church of England)

Tough new measures are being introduced by the Government in an effort to limit a second wave of coronavirus but for now at least, they will not affect church services. 

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, said the Church of England had received confirmation from the Government that churches could continue to hold services.

His announcement followed confusion over the changes, which will limit social gatherings in England to six people following a surge in coronavirus cases since lockdown ended. 

The Archbishop said on Twitter: "After contact with Government we hear that there is no change to guidance on places of worship.

"Worship is the work of God - not a social gathering - and gives the strength to love and serve." 

Other exemptions to the new rules are places of work, schools, weddings and funerals. 

Second waves have already been seen in other European countries. 

In the UK, coronavirus cases doubled over the weekend and on Tuesday, 2,420 tested positive. 

Boris Johnson will make an announcement today on the new social distancing rules ahead of the changes coming into effect from Monday. 

It is reported that the Government is also considering introducing local curfews.