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Collective Worship and Weddings: Coronavirus

Question for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

UIN 110039, tabled on 2 November 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the effect of the (a) covid-19 lockdown process on the human right to practice religion corporately and (b) ban on marriages during lockdown on the right to family life.

Answered on

10 November 2020

Freedom of religion or belief is a fundamental human right, and one which underpins many of the others. The closure of our places of worship for communal prayer and for weddings is a step to be considered only in the most exceptional circumstances. However, our view is that this is a qualified right, subject to necessary limitations in the interest of public safety.

This includes the protection of health to protect the fundamental right to life of the population set out in Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Article 2 remains the overriding concern for the protection of the nation’s health as a whole.