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  1. #1
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    Muslims unhappy with Boris Johnson's handling of COVID-19 lockdowns at Eid

    How will Eid celebrations be impacted by the pandemic after coronavirus spikes in Greater Manchester?

    "It's heartbreaking", says Asghar Mahmood.

    The youth and engagement worker from Oldham would usually be gearing up for big celebrations in time for Eid al-Adha this Friday (July 31).

    In pre-Covid times he would travel to different cities, visiting up to five homes, sharing food and catching up with loved ones.

    Eid al-Adha, meaning Feast of Sacrifice, is the second major Muslim festival after Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadhan.

    Ramadhan and Eid-al Fitr were observed at home this year as they fell during the height of lockdown, when mosques were closed.

    Mosques across Greater Manchester were allowed to reopen to worshippers with strict social distancing measures on July 4.

    The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) outlined six steps mosques must take to ensure they are Covid-safe.

    What has changed in Oldham?

    Following a steep rise in coronavirus cases in Oldham in the last two weeks, tighter restrictions have been introduced in the borough.

    Oldham Council said there has been a spike in cases in younger people – those in their twenties and thirties.

    Many of these cases are from Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities.

    Household spread has been a 'real issue', the council said, with multiple individuals from the same household testing positive.

    The week leading up to July 25 saw a spike in virus transmissions, with 119 new positive cases recorded across the borough.

    How will it affect Eid?

    Those on the shielding list have been asked to continue to stay indoors for another two weeks.

    Eid would usually see friends and family visit each other, but residents in Oldham have also been told they cannot have 'social visitors' to their home.

    They must keep two metres apart from friends and family when seeing them outside.

    A letter from the council to constituents urged people to 'celebrate Eid safely and in line with the new guidelines'.

    "Maintaining social distancing outside the Mosque will also be extremely important, so we’d like to remind everyone to ensure you stay at least two metres away from those people who you do not live with. This means no hand shaking and no other forms of physical contact at this time", council leaders wrote.

    Oldham Mosque Council considered whether it was safe to hold Eid prayers, but decided to go ahead with extra measures in place after consulting all the mosques in Oldham.

    The rise in cases is a blow to families like the Mahmoods, following a steady easing of lockdown restrictions elsewhere.

    "It's not great news for the Asian community in general, not being able to interact with families and loved ones.

    "It's one of those things - people need to be a bit more educated. It's definitely impacted on our plans. But you make a bad situation into a good one. We can use technology to speak to our families. It's not all doom and gloom. if the weather is good we can sit in gardens," Asghar said.

    He will also check in on vulnerable neighbours to see if they need anything during Eid al-Adha - a central part of the Muslim faith.

    Nasim Ashraf is a committee member for Oldham UK Islamic Mission, a mosque in Glodwick.

    The mosque was one of the many places of worship around the country that reopened on July 4.

    They have strict rules in place - worshippers must bring their owns mats which must be kept two metres apart.

    They must wear face masks, and there is a one way system to travel in and out of the mosque.

    There is a limit to the amount of people that can pray together too, and people under the age of 11 and over the age of 70 are not allowed.

    "At my house we would usually have 40 or 50 people over, it will just be the six of us. We have been living with this (coronavirus) for four and a half months, we have been going through a period of evolution", he said.

    Coun Arooj Shah, Cabinet Member for Covid-19 Recovery at Oldham Council, said: "We've worked closely with the Oldham Mosque council and the Interfaith forum throughout the pandemic.

    "Mosques have only been open for prayer a couple of weeks but the measures that have been put in place are outstanding - staggered prayer times to limit numbers, temperature checks on arrival, gathering of data for test and trace, mask wearing during services and one way systems into and out of buildings.

    "The Mosque Council and individual mosques have also supported us by promoting general public health guidelines within their communities.

    "Compliance with those has been fantastic locally. I have no concerns about prayers continuing to take place given the stringent guidelines they've introduced. Pubs, bars and restaurants are also holding large numbers of visitors successfully with similar distancing measures in place so at this point we have no additional concerns around collective prayer in Mosques or anywhere else."

    What about elsewhere in Greater Manchester?

    Eid al-Adha usually sees an increase in worshippers attending mosques, Coun Rabnawaz Akbar, spokesperson for The Greater Manchester Mosque Council explained.

    To accommodate this, they will hold an increased number of Friday prayers, staggered throughout the day to avoid large numbers congregating at once.

    People are being urged not to gather outside mosques following the prayers, and to avoid shaking hands or hugging.

    Mosque leaders in Greater Manchester are following The Muslim Council of Britain guidance for Eid.

    Other events, like Eid in The Park in south Manchester, have been cancelled following discussions with council bosses, religious leaders and police.

    In the evening, crowds often gather to celebrate Eid at the cafťs and restaurants in Rusholme, but Coun Akbar is urging people to avoid doing so.

    He is asking people not to travel to different areas to gather in large groups - and says officers will be patrolling the area around Rusholme District Centre.

    "Keep yourself safe, don't make that journey. You get young men who hire cars and come into Manchester. We want to discourage that. I think sometimes the message doesn't get to everybody. Some people choose to ignore them. The virus has not gone away. It is not easy, it is difficult. The mosques have been amazing", he said.

    There have also been concerns about a rise in coronavirus cases in areas such as Trafford and Stockport.

    "In Trafford and Stockport, the rise in infection has been younger people", Coun Rabnawaz Akbar said.

    "Whereas if you go to Oldham and Rochdale it is a case of multi-generational households. We still have reports coming through that BAME has been disproportionately impacted. It is not a one glove fits all approach."

    He wants people with family members and friends in the worst-hit areas to make sensible decisions when considering whether to visit them, as they could spread the virus.

    "I would encourage people to use online platforms like Zoom", he said.

    Professor Dominic Harrison, Blackburn with Darwen’s Director of Public Health, has issued advice for Muslims to ensure they celebrate safely.

    His recommendations include only celebrating with the people you live with, and not allowing anyone from another household into your home.

    Rochdale Borough Council have also issued guidance for people to celebrate Eid safely.

    Town hall bosses recently introduced a range of measures in recent weeks to avoid a local lockdown after a surge in cases.

    The measures included limiting visitors to homes to two people and keeping two metres apart at all times.

    Their advice to celebrate Eid safely is as followed:

    - Wear a face covering in public
    - Keep 2 metres apart at all times
    - Limit visitors to your home to 2 people
    - Avoid physical contact with anyone outside of your own household, including shaking hands or hugging
    - Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds
    - Follow the new measures in place at your local mosque
    - Provide your contact details to the Track and Trace system in place

    Tahir Mahmood, chair of the Rochdale Council of Mosques, said: “We have all made huge sacrifices in the past few months and I know how hard it has been for you and your families. Stay alert to the measures in place for our borough this Eid so that we can protect each other and stop the spread of the virus. I hope that this time next year we will be able to celebrate as we normally do. In the meantime please stay safe and Eid Mubarak.”

    Andrea Fallon, director of public health at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “I’ve visited some of the borough’s mosques and I’ve been really encouraged by the measures they have put in place and how they are going above and beyond with a lot of measures like awareness raising sessions, deep cleaning and swab testing. It’s now down to the community to play their part and observe the measures put in place for everyones safety."

    “Let’s all work to stop the spread of this deadly virus. Please continue to keep your distance from people you don’t live with making sure you don't hug or shake hands, wear a face covering in public and wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds.”

    https://www.manchestereveningnews.co...demic-18682965


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  2. #2
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    Muslim leader criticises UK government for 'shockingly short notice'

    The Muslim Council of Britain's secretary general, Harun Khan, criticises the way the government announced new restrictions in northern England, which came the day before Eid celebrations began.

    "With the first day of Eid being today, for Muslims in the affected areas, it is like being told they cannot visit family and friends for Christmas on Christmas Eve itself," he says.

    "Whilst the safety of communities is of paramount importance, as has remained the case from the very outset of this crisis, so is effective communication delivered in a timely fashion.

    "Failure to communicate makes it difficult for communities across the country to continue working together to minimise the spread of the virus, whilst eroding trust in the ability of authorities to steer our course as we tackle the Covid-19 crisis.

    "The UK government has failed to provide clarity on the shockingly short notice and the reasoning behind the new rules that British Muslims deserve - any such clarification would be most welcome."


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  3. #3
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    Muslims unhappy with Boris Johnson's handling of COVID-19 lockdowns at Eid

    "Imagine it's Christmas and you get this bombshell?" said Zulfi Karim, president of the Bradford Council of Mosques.

    That's how many Muslims were affected by yesterday evening's "last-minute" announcement of coronavirus restrictions two hours before the festival of Eid, he suggested.

    "Coming together of friends and family is actually a major part of the day of Eid - it's a sharing of food and gifts and coming together," Karim said, adding that "the spirit of Eid has gone".

    But Qari Asim, a senior Imam in Leeds, urged people to "remain safe" by celebrating at home. He said it was "just as effective as being in larger groups".

    Coming on top of restrictions on Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca, there was a sense of "deflation and disappointment".

    "But we are not alone," he said. "Other faith communities have had to make sacrifices. We hope these spiritual sacrifices will enable us all to defeat Covid-19 together."


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  4. #4
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    I hope these are just a small percentage of the Muslims who are hogging limelight here whilst the majority are sensible and would have had a saadgi wali eid anyway

  5. #5
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    Usually people like the government policies or hate it. Itís usually an individual choice.

    Why is it that Muslims as a community have a problem with things? I am sure it may be justified in some matters but I always here Muslims in < Insert country where they are in minority > having problems with a policy?

    I donít think I have ever seen minorities from Muslim countries ever raise issues. I mean itís not like itís milk and honey for them.

    For example how many minorities in Pakistan have protested the fact that they Or their kids can never be the head of state even though they pay taxes etc.

    May be the media generalizes and stereotypes but usually thatís the impression one gets

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Local.Dada View Post
    Usually people like the government policies or hate it. It’s usually an individual choice.

    Why is it that Muslims as a community have a problem with things? I am sure it may be justified in some matters but I always here Muslims in < Insert country where they are in minority > having problems with a policy?

    I don’t think I have ever seen minorities from Muslim countries ever raise issues. I mean it’s not like it’s milk and honey for them.

    For example how many minorities in Pakistan have protested the fact that they Or their kids can never be the head of state even though they pay taxes etc.

    May be the media generalizes and stereotypes but usually that’s the impression one gets
    Clearly you do not understand the issue at hand.

    Muslims in this part of the world are law abiding citizens. All they are unhappy about is the adhoc manner in which this decision was taken. By the time people heard of this, some family members had already arrived at their loved ones destinations.

    Dont generalize a local issue.


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  7. #7
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    There is no point being unhappy. Follow the laws of the land. Do not demand special treatment!

  8. #8
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    'A lot' of British Muslims have not taken the threat of coronavirus 'seriously enough' and a lack of social distancing has caused a 'dangerous' spike in cases in the north of England, a mosque president told MailOnline today.

    Mohammed Ashrif Tahir Nushai, 84, a community leader in Bradford, spoke out as the Government was blasted for imposing a new lockdown in Manchester, east Lancashire and West Yorkshire at the start of Eid.

    Mr Nushai told MailOnline: ‘Sadly, there are people within our community who are not taking coronavirus seriously enough. Since the easing of the main lockdown, a lot of people have been visiting relatives and friends and attending events in each other’s homes with very little thought of keeping themselves safe.

    ‘We have been trying to get them to understand the message and take greater precautions but what can we do? Now, in Bradford we find ourselves in a very dangerous situation with coronavirus cases on the rise.’

    Akhtar Mahmood, a member of the mosque committee added: ‘One of the big problems we have had is of people going to pay their respects at the homes of those who have recently died. We lost a member of our congregation two weeks ago and there were 50 people gathered at his house to express their sympathies.’ A single road in Bradford registered an astonishing 17 coronavirus cases within six days, it has emerged.

    But some worshippers have claimed that British Muslims are being unfairly blamed. Taxi driver Mahaz Raja, 39, said: ‘There were thousands of people out on the streets after Liverpool won the Premiership and Leeds United were promoted to the Premier League.

    ‘None of them were maintaining social distance and broke every coronavirus rule imaginable. So why did the Government introduce new lockdown restrictions on the eve of Eid? As a community we feel that we are being unfairly targeted and that this is double standards by the Government. That’s what gets people angry.’

    Community leaders today branded the decision to lock down the north-west of England at the start of Eid 'an appalling abuse of power' and accused Boris Johnson's Government of having 'no regard for British Muslims'.

    Mohammed Shafiq from the Ramadhan Foundation said the decision to ban 4.5million people mixing for at least a week will ruin plans for thousands celebrating the religious festival in Manchester, east Lancashire and West Yorkshire until Monday night.

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock has been forced to deny he had targeted Eid when announcing the Covid-19 restrictions as the religious holiday was about to start - but British Muslims slammed his announcement as 'shockingly short notice'.

    Mr Shafiq said: 'Already by the time the Government announced that on Twitter, families had already travelled to their loved ones' homes and people have already started their Eid preparations. To make that decision on social media, with no regard for British Muslims is an appalling abuse of its power and shows how disconnected they are from wider society. I condemn the announcement and I hope they have learned a big lesson from this'.

    The Muslim Council of Britain's secretary general, Harun Khan, condemned the Government for making the announcement at 'shockingly short notice'. He said: 'With the first day of Eid being today, for Muslims in the affected areas it is like being told they cannot visit family and friends for Christmas on Christmas Eve itself'.

    Areas affected: Greater Manchester (City of Manchester, Trafford, Stockport, Oldham, Bury, Wigan, Bolton, Tameside, Rochdale and Salford), Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle, Rossendale, Bradford, Calderdale and Kirklees.

    Labour Bolton MP, Yasmin Qureshi, said today: 'For the Government to make a major public health announcement on the eve of Eid Al Adha (on Twitter) in haste, without clarity or guidance is beyond disruptive, it's irresponsible'.

    But today a Tory with a Parliamentary constituency on the edge of the lockdown zone accused 'BAME communities of not taking this seriously enough' as coronavirus cases have been rising in towns with large Muslim and minority populations such as Blackburn, Rochdale and Bradford.

    Criag Whittaker, MP for the Calder Valley in West Yorkshire, told LBC: 'If you look at the areas where we've seen rises and cases, the vast majority - but not by any stretch of the imagination all areas - it is the BAME communities.

    'We have areas of high multiple occupancy - when you have multiple families living in one household. It doesn't specifically have to be in the Asian community, but that is the largest proportion. Look at the areas. You've got Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees. Bradford and Kirklees have two of the largest populations in West Yorkshire'. When asked he was referring to the immigrant population, he said: 'Immigrant and Asian population.'

    Asked if he agreed with comments by a Tory MP in one of the impacted areas claiming that the BAME community was not taking the situation seriously enough, Boris Johnson said at today's press conference: 'On your first point about how the... are certain communities responding enough to the guidance - well, I think it's up to all of us in Government to make sure that the message is being heard loud and clear by everybody across the country, and to make sure that everybody is complying with the guidance.'

    The Prime Minister said: 'I want to thank all the community leaders, I want to thank everybody, the mosques, the imams who have worked hard with us to get messages across.

    'All faith leaders and other community leaders getting that message across throughout society. But, ultimately it's up everybody. It's up to the whole country to get this right and do it together.'

    Eid al-Adha - the festival of sacrifice - follows the completion of the annual Hajj pilgrimage.

    It is the second major celebration of the Islamic calendar after Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the month of fasting called Ramadan.

    Many Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha, which can last between two to four days, by sacrificing an animal for feasts to be shared by family, friends and those in need in large groups.

    Boris Johnson today announced he is 'squeezing the brake pedal' on easing the coronavirus lockdown and announced the compulsory wearing of face masks is being extended after the rate of infection doubled during July.

    Mr Johnson said coronavirus cases have started to 'creep up' - with the Office for National Statistics estimating there are now 4,200 new infections every day, up from 2,000 per day at the end of June - and as a result the Government had no choice but to delay the further reopening of the economy.

    He said the scheduled August 1 return of casinos, bowling alleys and close contact services like beauticians has now been pushed back to August 15 'at the earliest'. Loosening rules to allow wedding receptions of up to 30 people and a pilot scheme of bringing crowds back to sports venues have also been delayed.

    The mandatory wearing of face coverings will be extended in England to include galleries, cinemas and places of worship while there will also now be a 'greater police presence' to ensure people wear masks and comply with social distancing.

    Meanwhile, England's Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty warned as he stood alongside the PM at a lunchtime Downing Street press conference that the UK has potentially reached a limit for how much of society can be safely opened up.

    People in the lockdown zone are worried about their livelihood.

    Restaurant owner Johanne Banks told Mail Online her phone had been non-stop with people cancelling bookings after the lockdown was re-imposed on Greater Manchester.

    So many people had cancelled bookings at the Crowded House restaurant in Bury that she was considering closing for the weekend and putting staff back on the Government furlough.

    She said:’ It is lunchtime and we do not have a single person in the restaurant.

    ‘All the bookings for this evening and the rest of the weekend have been cancelled.

    ‘I really have to consider closing and then see what happens next week. It has been a disaster.’

    Bury is part of Greater Manchester and despite seeing fewer than five cases a day of Covid-19 being reported included in the lockdown area.

    Johanne said the new restrictions came as a surprise particularly as Bury was not one of the worst affected areas in the North West.

    She had re-opened her restaurant earlier this month after the Government lifted the lockdown and customers flocked back to the business.

    ‘People were very happy to get back to some normality and business was good,’ she said.

    ‘We were happy to be open and to see people coming back out to the restaurant after being closed for so long.

    ‘This new lockdown has come as a blow. Its a setback and many of the staff who were on part time furlough might have to go back on to the scheme.’

    The restaurant employs 45 people on various shift patterns.

    An adjoining beauty salon also run by Johanne and her husband had also opened for business after restrictions were lifted earlier this month.

    Reimposing lockdown measures on 4.5 million people in the north of England is the culmination of a week of warnings from the Government's top health experts about the risk of rising infection.

    Matt Hancock announced last night that people from different households in Greater Manchester, parts of east Lancashire and West Yorkshire are now banned from meeting each other inside their homes or in gardens following a spike in cases.

    The move represents an exclamation point on a seven day period when the Government has moved quickly to take action in numerous areas in order to combat the spread of coronavirus.

    It started with reimposing quarantine restrictions on travellers returning to the UK from Spain on Saturday night after Professor Chris Whitty warned ministers that 'doing nothing isn't an option' as infection levels increased on the continent.

    Meanwhile, Sir Patrick Vallance is said to have warned Downing Street on Monday that the UK could be just two or three weeks behind Spain's second wave trajectory.

    Ministers then confirmed yesterday that the self-isolation period for people with symptoms has been increased from seven days to 10.

    The rapid action has prompted accusations - denied by ministers - that they are over-reacting to expert advice in order to avoid repeating the mistakes made at the start of the outbreak.

    Here is how the last seven days panned out as the Government's response to the virus became noticeably more aggressive.

    Saturday: Ministers reimpose quarantine measures on Spain after Chris Whitty warns 'doing nothing isn't an option'

    Ministers announced on Saturday evening that quarantine travel restrictions were being reimposed on Spain at just five hours' notice because of surging cases.

    The Government's Covid-O committee met on Saturday afternoon after Mr Hancock raised concerns about a spike in Spanish infections on Friday.

    The group of six senior ministers, which included Michael Gove, Grant Shapps and Priti Patel, were apparently told by Prof Whitty, the Chief Medical Officer, that the situation in Spain had deteriorated significantly in the last 48 hours.

    Ministers were told there had been an increase in infection in 15 of Spain's 19 regions but the 'clincher' was the fact that 10 Britons had recently tested positive after coming back from the country.

    Prof Whitty described the number as 'statistically significant' and said 'doing nothing isn't an option' as ministers took the controversial decision to reimpose quarantine, plunging holidaymakers and the travel industry into chaos.




    The Government's Chief Scientific Adviser is said to have delivered a stark warning to Downing Street at the start of the week.

    Sir Patrick reportedly told No10 that the UK could be just two or three weeks behind Spain in terms of a surge in case numbers.

    His warning came as the travel industry pushed for quarantine restrictions on Spain to be eased.

    But in reality the Government actually toughened its travel advice on Spain as it moved to ban all non-essential travel to the Canary and Balearic Islands, bringing them into line with the Spanish mainland.

    Meanwhile, ministers were also actively monitoring the situation in countries like Belgium, Luxembourg and Croatia amid suggestions they could also face quarantine. Travel to Luxembourg was banned yesterday evening.

    Tuesday: Boris Johnson ramps up his rhetoric and warns there are 'signs of a second wave' in Europe

    The Prime Minister defended the UK's decision to reimpose 14-day quarantine on Spanish travel as he warned cases were 'starting to bubble up again'.

    The Prime Minister insisted the Government had to act quickly to respond to what it believed are threats to the domestic fight against coronavirus.

    He said: 'What we have to do is take swift and decisive action where we think that the risks are starting to bubble up again.

    'Let's be absolutely clear about what's happening in Europe, amongst some of our European friends, I'm afraid you are starting to see in some places the signs of a second wave of the pandemic.'

    Thursday morning: Boris Johnson says the UK must not 'delude' itself that the crisis is over as ministers increase self-isolation period to 10 days

    The Prime Minister struck a pessimistic tone on a visit to North Yorkshire as he said the UK must not abandon efforts to stop the spread of the virus.

    He warned there were 'between ten and 30 places where you are seeing it bubbling up a little bit'.

    He said 'tough local lockdowns' would be used to 'get it under control in those towns'.

    'It is absolutely vital that as a country we continue to keep our focus and our discipline and that we don't delude ourselves that somehow we're out of the woods or that this is all over, because it isn't all over,' he said.

    'The most important thing we can do is stop a second wave, a really damaging second wave, which will have real consequences.'

    On the same day ministers confirmed that the self-isolation period for people with coronavirus symptoms had been increased from seven days to 10.

    The hardening of the rules came amid fears that people are actually infectious for longer than previously thought as the rolling average of daily cases was shown to have been rising since earlier this month.

    Meanwhile, Mr Hancock denied suggestions that ministers were fuelling 'hysteria' by warning of a second wave in Europe.

    Thursday evening: Matt Hancock announces reimposition of partial lockdown on north of England at 9.16pm

    The results of a review of a local lockdown in Leicester had been expected to be set out yesterday afternoon but the announcement was delayed.

    Mr Hancock then took the nation completely by surprise as he announced on Twitter that 4.5 million people across the north of England would face tougher restrictions from midnight.

    The new restrictions mean that people from different households in Greater Manchester, parts of east Lancashire and West Yorkshire are banned from meeting each other inside their homes or in gardens following a spike in virus cases.

    The timing of the announcement, and the fact that the full details of the rules were only published after 11pm, sparked a furious backlash as critics claimed it represented a 'new low' for government communications during the crisis.


    ‘Lots of people came to us as they thought they could get back to normal. I do understand why the Government has put the lockdown in place but we are just on the edge of the area where it is worst, she said.

    ‘I think people are going to be afraid to go out again as no one want to catch the virus. No one at the restaurant has been affected and we have taken all the necessary precautions.’

    A pub landlord in the city, who asked not to be named, said: ‘This could be a disaster for us if the lockdown stays in place too long. We have tried to make sure our customers maintain social distancing and restrict numbers, but obviously there are people who have ignored this and led to the spread of the virus.’

    Barbara Tunstall, 88, retired from Bury said: 'I agree with what the government have done in the North because a lot of people aren't abiding to the rules.

    'There needs to be more compulsory fines put in place - more and more people will flout the guidelines if they're not getting told off for not following them.

    'In town now I'm seeing so many people without masks - I can't breathe in mine and I'm still wearing it.

    'I bet people here will still visit their family despite the new rules which makes me worried that the whole country, not just the North, will go into lockdown again.'

    Paul Craig, 65, from Bury said: 'It's difficult with the government changing the rules for specific cities and people are moaning about them again but we can't blame them as the situation is always changing so they're going to have to change the rules to match.

    'I'm not worried about the virus and have been going about my daily life while trying to follow the restrictions but my ex wife has come over from Yorkshire this week and she's worried about going back because she might not see us again for a long while.'

    James Brownson, 30, a landscaping company director, from Bury said: 'I'm self-employed so the first lockdown hit me hard because we had no suppliers and were forced to shut,

    'The new measures are completely backwards - all the pubs and shops were allowed to open and now that might come crashing down again.

    'It seems strange that we can no longer make arrangements with our family - I'm sad that I can't meet up with mine anymore.

    'It's also crackers that people are deciding to book holidays, I've had mine cancelled and I wasn't planning to book any more.

    'Boris should have announced it on television like he's done before but this seems to have just been put across social media so everyone's sharing it on Facebook and going into panic.

    'The way it's going, we'll be going into a second lockdown and then a major recession.'

    Michelle Carol, 52, a market stall owner from Bury said: 'It's so confusing at the moment and we've only just managed to get back out selling things in the market to risk it all shutting again.

    'Personally I think it's daft that we can still go to the pub with our family when we're indoors near lots of random people who could have the virus.

    'It all seems to be guess work at the moment with the government's decisions.'

    Sami Mahmood, 21, a shop keeper from Bury said: 'The new rules in Manchester are good because everyone's keeping safe but it's rubbish for people who were excited to go back to normal and start seeing their family again.

    'It got boring in lockdown because it was very long but it's important for everyone to keep each other people secure and keep the virus cases down.

    'I think it makes sense to put the new rules in place with Eid around the corner because it's a family event and people need to think about caring for their families more instead of meeting up.'

    Maria Stewart, 52, from Bury said: 'The whole situation with the new guidelines is crazy - people are going to the beach in this hot weather instead of seeing their family so are still mixing with people.

    'I had plans to sit in my garden with my family this afternoon which I've had to cancel.

    'There's no logic behind it and it's confusing - I've always understood the rules before, until now.'

    Maria's daughter Leah Stewart, 24, said: 'I've just been made redundant from my job at a travel company but it doesn't make sense that people can still go to work with 30 plus people but not see their family.

    'I wanted to see my friends this afternoon but we're keen to stick to the rules but I'm not sure other people will do the same given the fact that it's so warm today.

    'I'm hoping the cases will lower when the government come to review it ‪in three weeks.'

    Matt Hancock today denied targeting Eid celebrations with a last-minute move to introduce strict new lockdown restrictions on 4.5million people living in Greater Manchester and parts of Lancashire and Yorkshire.

    The Health Secretary defended last night's surprise announcement to tackle the surge in coronavirus cases across the region, which he made in a series of tweets at 9.15pm - less than three hours before the rules came into force.

    Residents in all of Greater Manchester, Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle, Rossendale, Bradford, Calderdale and Kirklees are now banned from mixing with any other households indoors or in a garden to reduce Covid-19 infections.

    But people can still visit pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops and places of worship as long as it is with people they live with and they avoid interaction with others outside their bubble. The measures will be reviewed in a week's time, Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham has said.

    Mr Hancock was today asked whether the rules were aimed at stopping families getting together for Eid al-Adha, an Islamic festival that will run until Monday night. There is a large Muslim population in the north west. He told the BBC: 'No. My heart goes out to the Muslim communities in these areas because I know how important Eid celebrations are.'

    There is anger today as the strict restrictions were announced on social media just 165 minutes before lockdown began, with many people living in the zone likely to be unaware the new lockdown had started at all when they woke up this morning.

    Labour leader Keir Starmer blasted the move as a 'new low for the Government's communications during this crisis', while shadow business secretary Lucy Powell, who is the MP for Manchester Central, described it as a 'disaster'. 'With no one around to be able to answer some of the basic questions, I really think is not the way to build confidence and to take people with you and maximise compliance with these steps,' she added.

    There is also confusion because some of the areas, such as Rossendale, have only seen three three confirmed coronavirus cases on any day since start of July. In Trafford, Greater Manchester, there have been around ten cases per day in a borough with 236,370 residents and infections are 'very low', despite a small rise in cases, officials said this week.

    Local MP William Wragg said: 'Greater Manchester is not a homogenous area. We must always err on the side of caution but to treat 10 boroughs the same is not the right approach.'

    Spikes in Oldham and Blackburn with Darwen have both been driven by soaring rates among Asian communities, councillors have said. Arooj Shah, deputy leader of Oldham Council, confirmed they had seen a rise in cases among Oldham's Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities, which account for up to two thirds of overall new cases in the Manchester town.

    Eighty-five per cent of new Covid-19 infections in Blackburn with Darwen have been among people from South Asian heritage, which also make up around a fifth of the local authority's residents. Around 20 per cent of Oldham's population are from Bangladeshi and Pakistani heritage, compared to the 2.8 per cent average in England and Wales.

    Health Secretary Matt Hancock today admitted the Government had planned more 'targeted, specific local action' in Oldham and Blackburn but could see that coronavirus was 'spreading more widely than that' so 'we had to take the action that we did'.

    He said: 'The reason for that is we've seen these increases across the board in Greater Manchester as well as the other areas that are affected.'

    The new lockdown means that in nine areas of the north:

    It is now illegal for people who do not live together to meet in any private home or garden;
    But people can still go to pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, places of worship, community centres, leisure and entertainment venues, or visitor attractions with their household or support bubble;
    Going to work is permissible and weddings and civil partnership ceremonies in these areas can still go ahead. No more than 30 people should attend and it must be at a Covid-safe venue;
    Leisure centres, gyms and pools will remain closed;
    The move came amid fears Britain is heading for a second wave following a surge in infections in European countries including Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg and Croatia.

    Boris Johnson yesterday warned of a resurgence as the UK reported the highest daily total of Covid-19 cases for more than a month. There were 846 new infections, the greatest number recorded since June 28 when there were 901.

    Announcing the new regional lockdown last night, Mr Hancock said: 'The action that we've taken across parts of northern England where we can see that increase in the number of cases is all about keeping people safe.

    'What we've seen is one of the causes of this increase is households gathering together and ignoring the social distancing rules.

    'So we're having to bring in firm action and say two households cannot meet indoors, because that way we can help to stop the spread of the virus. We can see a second peak coming in parts of Europe, that's why we've taken some of the action we've had to.'

    Shadow business minister Lucy Powell described the way in which the Government announced the new coronavirus restrictions on parts of northern England as a 'disaster'.

    Speaking on Times Radio, the MP for Manchester Central said: 'I mean announcing them two hours before they come into effect is a bit of a bolt out of the blue.

    'With no one around to be able to answer some of the basic questions, I really think is not the way to build confidence and to take people with you and maximise compliance with these steps.'

    She said she was 'none of the wiser' about the data that has led to widespread restrictions on parts of northern England, including in her own constituency.

    'I follow the data extremely closely as a Member of Parliament and I'm still none the wiser about what the data is that has generated this action so swiftly across such a broad area', she said.

    'If we had a much better track and trace system in place we'd be able to see much more clearly some of the localised nature or where these transmissions are actually occurring, and take action more strongly in a more localised fashion rather than across such a broad area.

    'We are still getting less than 50% of tests back within 24 hours and frankly that is just not good enough.'

    'There's a huge number of questions here and it's not clear to me what the data is that is sowing such significant change over the last few days that such widespread measures are necessary, and I think it's something that I should know'.

    Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer criticised ministers for making the announcement at just before 10pm and on social media. He said: 'Announcing measures affecting potentially millions of people late at night on Twitter is a new low for the Government's communications during this crisis.'

    Matt Hancock was grilled on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme this morning about the latest restrictions in the North West and the decision to announce them at the eleventh hour last night.

    Mr Hancock defended the move, saying: 'If the Labour leadership in London doesn't think that people across the north of England can follow social distancing rules when they're announce, then they're wrong.

    'People are very largely following the rules as we are bringing hem in and we do have to make changes because we're trying to tackle a virus that spreads through social contact.

    'It's one of the sad things about this virus, that it thrives on exactly the sort of social contact that we all love and that makes life worth living.'

    He said: 'Well we are bringing in more advertising to set out exactly what people need to do and make clear that the basics are still incredibly important - washing your hands, the use of face coverings and social distancing - and if you get symptoms you must get a test.'

    The health secretary said the Government has not closed pubs or recommended people in the North West to start working from home again because the data showed the 'spread was happening between households visiting each other and people visiting their family and friends'.

    Mr Hancock added: 'One of the features of this pandemic is that, in Government, we've had to take decisions swiftly and then announce them swiftly so people know about them.

    'We've done this with the local authorities, with officials of public health on the ground and talking to them about how we do it.'

    There was further concern that the restrictions – which affect areas with large Muslim populations – were announced hours before the celebration of Eid al-Adha began. Many compared it to cancelling Christmas at 10pm on Christmas Eve.

    Probed about whether last night's late hasty announcement was made to block Eid celebrations, Mr Hancock said 'no'. He added: 'My heart goes out to the Muslim communities in these areas and I know how important Eid celebrations are.

    'I'm very grateful to the local Muslim leaders, in fact across the country, who've been working so hard to find a way to have Covid-secure celebrations, for instance celebrating Eid in parks where there's more space available, and of course outdoors is safer than indoors.'

    The health secretary was then asked why meeting friends and families in outdoor gardens was being banned, to which he said: 'Parks and outdoor public spaces are the safest option because for many people to go to a garden you have to go through a house and then you get more complicated rules. I think it's just a human tendency that when you're in your own home you do get closer.'

    Coronavirus cases are going down in one area of Greater Manchester - even though lockdown restrictions have been placed on the entire region.

    Official NHS statistics show infection rates have declined by 44 per cent in Rochdale over the past week.

    All nine other boroughs - Bolton, Stockport, Tameside, Oldham, Trafford, Salford, Bury, Wigan, and the city of Manchester - have been hit by a spike in outbreaks.

    Local Tory MP William Wragg said treating all 10 boroughs the same was 'not the right approach'.

    Stockport, which is home to 290,000 people, saw the biggest rise in Covid-19 cases between July 21 and 27 - the most recent data.

    Fifty-five people were diagnosed with the disease across the borough. This equates to a rate of 18.9 cases per 100,000 people - 150 per cent higher than it was the week before.

    Trafford saw a 94 per cent rise to 39.3 and Oldham's rate rose 90 per cent over the course of a week to 57.3, making it the second worst-hit authority in England.

    Wigan also saw a 127 per cent spike over the last week - but its infection rate is much lower and currently stands at 7.7 cases for every 100,000 people.

    Infection rates jumped by between 60 and 80 per cent in the city of Manchester (27.2), Bury (16.3), Tameside (16.0) and Salford (22.4).

    Bolton's rate jumped by 12 per cent to 16.8.

    The weekly rate in Rochdale - the seventh worst-hit area of England at the moment - dropped to 27.3.

    WHAT ABOUT IN LANCASHIRE AND YORKSHIRE?

    Health chiefs only provide rolling weekly infection data for England's upper-tier local authorities, which are often county councils.

    It means it isn't possible to see how outbreaks are growing in smaller regions, unless local health bosses release the data they have.

    For example, figures show cases are still dropping slightly in Blackburn with Darwen (down 9 per cent to 83.3), which operates as a lone authority.

    But other parts of the county hit by the lockdown restrictions - Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle and Rossendale - all fall under the bracket of Lancashire.

    Lancashire's infection rate currently stands at 10.9 - 6 per cent lower than the rate last week.

    Local papers have, however, reported that infection rates are almost 40 in Pendle and Hyndburn.

    Bradford - one of the three areas of West Yorkshire hit by Matt Hancock's tough new measures - has seen a 1 per cent increase in cases. Data shows its infection rate now stands at 45.8.

    Calderdale's has risen 64 per cent to 36.7. But the rate in Kirklees has dropped 23 per cent to 20.5.

    All three boroughs are in the worst dozens authorities in England currently.

    Under the regional lockdown, meeting up with another household indoors at home will be banned, with police given powers to enforce it.

    Pubs and restaurants will stay open but customers will be advised not to visit them with people they do not live with. However, it is not thought that police will have enforcement powers if they refuse.

    The current rules for England in general state two households can meet indoors – including in a pub or restaurant – but should not touch each other.

    Official data shows that coronavirus cases are going down in one area of Greater Manchester - even though lockdown restrictions have been placed on the entire region.

    NHS statistics show infection rates have declined by 44 per cent in Rochdale over the past week.

    All nine other boroughs - Bolton, Stockport, Tameside, Oldham, Trafford, Salford, Bury, Wigan, and the city of Manchester - have been hit by a spike in outbreaks.

    Local Tory MP William Wragg said treating all 10 boroughs the same was 'not the right approach'.

    Stockport, which is home to 290,000 people, saw the biggest rise in Covid-19 cases between July 21 and 27 - the most recent data.

    Fifty-five people were diagnosed with the disease across the borough. This equates to a rate of 18.9 cases per 100,000 people - 150 per cent higher than it was the week before.

    Trafford saw a 94 per cent rise to 39.3 and Oldham's rate rose 90 per cent over the course of a week to 57.3, making it the second worst-hit authority in England.

    Wigan also saw a 127 per cent spike over the last week - but its infection rate is much lower and currently stands at 7.7 cases for every 100,000 people.

    Infection rates jumped by between 60 and 80 per cent in the city of Manchester (27.2), Bury (16.3), Tameside (16.0) and Salford (22.4).

    Bolton's rate jumped by 12 per cent to 16.8.

    The weekly rate in Rochdale - the seventh worst-hit area of England at the moment - dropped to 27.3.

    Health chiefs only provide rolling weekly infection data for England's upper-tier local authorities, which are often county councils.

    It means it isn't possible to see how outbreaks are growing in smaller regions in Lancashire and Yorkshire unless local health bosses release the data they have.

    For example, figures show cases are still dropping slightly in Blackburn with Darwen (down 9 per cent to 83.3), which operates as a lone authority.

    But other parts of the county hit by the lockdown restrictions - Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle and Rossendale - all fall under the bracket of Lancashire.

    Lancashire's infection rate currently stands at 10.9 - 6 per cent lower than the rate last week.

    Local papers have, however, reported that infection rates are almost 40 in Pendle and Hyndburn.

    Bradford - one of the three areas of West Yorkshire hit by Matt Hancock's tough new measures - has seen a 1 per cent increase in cases. Data shows its infection rate now stands at 45.8.

    Calderdale's has risen 64 per cent to 36.7. But the rate in Kirklees has dropped 23 per cent to 20.5.

    All three boroughs are in the worst dozens authorities in England currently.

    Mr Hancock said the regional measures had been imposed following a meeting of the Local Action Gold Committee which comprises Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty, senior officials from the Department of Health and Public Health England and some ministers and senior civil servants.

    WHICH PLACES IN ENGLAND HAVE TOUGHER COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS?

    The following locations have restrictions in place which are different to those set out across the whole of England.

    Oldham, Greater Manchester

    Tuesday July 28

    Residents are being told they cannot have 'social visitors' to their home.
    People must keep two metres away from friends and family if they see them outside, avoiding hugging and shaking hands.
    Care homes will not relax restrictions on visiting to protect older and vulnerable people.
    Friday July 31

    Vulnerable and elderly people who have been shielding have been asked to to continue to do so for another two weeks.
    Blackburn with Darwen

    Tuesday July 14

    Five new measures were introduced for all residents; reducing the numbers allowed to visit households to two; asking residents to wear a face covering in all enclosed public spaces; encouraging people to be tested; asking people to only bump elbows rather than handshake; stepping up advice and support to small shops to keep them safe.
    Saturday July 25

    The Department of Health said new regulations will be signed by the Health Secretary Matt Hancock to make Blackburn exempt from the national lockdown changes - the opening of indoor gyms, pools, and other sport and exercise facilities.
    Leicester


    Monday June 29

    People were asked to continue to follow stricter lockdown restrictions for at least two weeks in a 'local lockdown'.
    Non-essential shops were asked to close after re-opening on June 15.
    The city's bars, restaurants and hairdressers did not open on July 4 as planned.
    Thursday July 16

    Health Secretary of State for Health Matt Hancock announced that lockdown measures in Leicester City had to stay in place for another two weeks. It meant the measures introduced in the rest of the England to open the hospitality sector would not apply in Leicester.
    Saturday July 18

    Additional lockdown restrictions ended in Charnwood and Blaby on 18 July. These areas have returned to national social distancing guidelines.
    In Leicester City, and the Borough of Oadby and Wigston, non-essential shops, schools and educational settings can now reopen. Single-adult households can still form a support bubble with one other household. People are still able to meet in a group of up to six and only outdoors, provided they follow strict social distancing.
    Luton

    Thursday July 23

    All residents have been urged to keep a two metre distance from people from outside their household 'at all times'. Where this is not possible, a face mask must be worn in 'all enclosed public spaces'.
    Residents have been told to not make social visits to other people's homes or private gardens. If meeting up with others socially, they must do so outside in an open space or park.
    Large group meetings should not exceed a maximum of six people (unless they live in the same house)
    Friday July 31

    Luton was removed as an area of intervention, meaning that indoor gyms, swimming pools and fitness studios that had to remain closed will be allowed to open from the week commencing August 3.
    Those who have been shielding have been asked to continue to do so until 17 August, but with slightly changed guidelines that will be told to them by letter or on the phone.



    The lockdown covers a much greater area than Leicester's, which was imposed on June 29 and will be eased from Monday.

    Pubs, cafes, bars and restaurants will reopen in the locked-down city from August 3, Labour MP Liz Kendall announced last night.

    People will also be permitted to go on holiday with their own household, but leisure centres, gyms and pools will remain closed.

    Andy Burnham, the Labour Mayor of Greater Manchester, urged locals to adhere to the new rules.

    He said: 'Over recent days, there has been a marked change in the picture across Greater Manchester with regard to the spread of Covid-19.

    'We have gone from a falling rate of cases in nearly all of our boroughs last week to a rising rate in nine out of 10 affecting communities across a much wider geography.

    'In Rochdale, the one borough where cases have fallen, they are still too high.

    'We have always said that we will remain vigilant and be ready to respond quickly should the need arise.

    'In line with that approach, I have agreed with the Health Secretary that it is right to act on the precautionary principle and introduce modest measures now to bring down the rate of new infections.

    'I ask all Greater Manchester residents - young and old alike - to protect each other by observing these new requirements. They will be reviewed weekly; meaning the more we stick to them, the quicker they will be removed.

    'This is a place which prides itself on looking out for each other. We now need to be true to that by not acting selfishly and keeping the health of others in mind at all times.'

    But the timing and manner of Mr Hancock's announcement drew criticism from Labour.

    Sir Keir Starmer noted how when Downing Street concluded its daily briefings regarding the virus in June, ministers promised to still hold conferences for 'significant announcements.'

    'It's hard to imagine what could be more significant than this,' he said.

    Taking to Twitter, Sir Keir added: 'No one would argue with putting in place local action to reduce the transmission of coronavirus.

    'But announcing measures affecting potentially millions of people late at night on Twitter is a new low for the government's communications during this crisis.

    'For all the bluster, government has failed to deliver a functioning track and trace system that would spot local flare ups like these.

    'The people of Greater Manchester now need urgent clarity and explanation from the government - and there must be proper support for those businesses and people affected by any lockdown.'

    Labour MP for Tottenham David Lammy added: 'The Government's shambolic announcement of local lockdown measures on Twitter tonight is the result of its total failure to deliver the functioning track and trace system it promised the country.

    'Boris Johnson is asleep at the wheel.'

    First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon said the decision was the 'right' one.

    She tweeted: 'The UK government is right to act quickly if they think the situation warrants it.

    'But this is a sharp reminder that the threat of this virus is still very real. Please abide by the all FACTS advice and stay safe.'

    Mr Johnson had yesterday urged the UK not to 'delude' itself into thinking the pandemic was over as he warned of up to 30 places where outbreaks were 'bubbling up'.

    On a visit to North Yorkshire, Mr Johnson said there would be 'real consequences' that would put the economic recovery in jeopardy if the virus was allowed to make a 'damaging' comeback.

    His cautious message came as Mr Hancock warned there was a 'second wave rolling across Europe' and the country must 'do everything in our power to stop it reaching our shores'.

    Challenged on whether his remarks were risking hysteria at a time when infection levels in the UK are still significantly down from their peak, Mr Hancock told Radio 4's Today programme: 'I'm the Health Secretary in the middle of a global pandemic, so you'll excuse me for being concerned about the health of the British people and that is absolutely at the front of my mind.'

    Ministers were yesterday warned not to fuel hysteria over a resurgence in the virus, with Labour MP Chris Bryant saying: 'It makes me so angry that the Government are so loose with their language. There isn't a second wave rolling out across Europe.'

    Mr Johnson is also coming under pressure from within his own party not to panic over the rise in infection rates.

    A group of more than 30 backbenchers led by Henry Smith is expected to send him a letter today that calls for the introduction of testing at airports to help travellers reduce the length of time they have to quarantine for if they arrive from an at-risk country.
    Pubs and restaurants will reopen in Leicester from Monday alongside hairdressers, cinemas and museums.

    Leisure centres, gyms and public swimming pools will stay closed and restrictions on household visits will stay in place.

    The city went through an extra month of lockdown, imposed at the end of last month, while the rest of the country saw restrictions lifted.

    And its residents were hoping the government would announce a complete end to their local lockdown.

    However, Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced last night on Twitter that people from different households in Leicester, and other parts of northern England, wouldn't be allowed to meet indoors.

    Leicester's mayor, Sir Peter Soulsby, told The Times: 'We've been messed about all day. They were going to make the announcement earlier, then 4pm then 5pm.

    'I haven't a clue what's going on. I don't even know who's taking the decision and they certainly don't involve anybody who knows anything about our city.

    'Just hoping they decide to let us out of this crude city-wide lockdown.'

    Leicester's lockdown saw restrictions lifted on schools and nurseries last week and some non-essential shops were allowed to reopen.

    Mosques and other places of worship will also be reopened and Jon Ashworth, the Labour MP for Leicester South, urged Muslims to celebrate Eid al-Adha 'with your own household at home'.

    Liz Kendall, the Labour MP for Leicester West, said the government's handling of the local lockdown had been 'totally shambolic'.

    According to Public Health England, roughly 164 have been diagnosed with coronavirus in Leicester in the past week - 0.05 per cent of its population.

    Before the dispute about the local lockdown Mr Hancock announced a £3million package for companies that had been unable to reopen in Leicester.

    He said: 'I absolutely understand the huge implications remaining in lockdown has meant for those in the city.'


    Lord Lamont, the Tory ex-chancellor, last night urged ministers not to lose focus on the economic recovery and warned them against taking blanket measures across the whole economy.

    He said: 'The one thing we cannot afford is another total lockdown. The economy has got a long uphill struggle.'

    The Mail revealed earlier this week how the Prime Minister is 'extremely concerned' about the possibility a second spike of infections could start in the next two weeks.

    His remarks in recent days come in stark contrast to his message a fortnight ago when he expressed hope that all social distancing restrictions may be ditched in time for Christmas.

    Yesterday, Mr Johnson insisted Britain has had 'massive success' in bringing down mortality rates but warned: 'I have to tell you we're looking at a resurgence of the virus in some other European countries, you can see what's been happening in the United States.

    'So it is absolutely vital as a country we continue to keep our focus and discipline, and that we don't delude ourselves that somehow we're out of the woods or that this is all over, because it isn't all over.'

    Despite the rise in the level of infections, the numbers are still way below the peak on May 1 when 6,201 cases were confirmed in just one day.

    Mr Smith, whose Crawley constituency includes Gatwick Airport, last night said: 'Testing should play a much larger role in giving people confidence to travel.'



    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...use-power.html


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  9. #9
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    Here in Canada, our mosques had Eid prayers but there were extreme social distancing. My local mosque followed strict protocols and people thankfully cooperated.


    Bangladeshi Fan

  10. #10
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    I have little sympathy for those complaining. I've seen too many Asians flouting the rules because "I don't know anybody with COVID" or claiming it's a conspiracy.

    That goes for these white revellers flocking to the beach.

    If you want the lockdown lifted and for the virus to be controlled, follow the rules. It's that simple.

  11. #11
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  12. #12
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    I think itís a harsh and difficult situation. Eid should have been considered in this. Not necessarily delay the measures just for the purposes of Eid ó because the tightened measures are necessary, and probably correct ó just create an extra section of specific advice for holding Eid celebrations safely.

  13. #13
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    Imagine the poor couples who were scheduled to get married tomorrow...
    venue booked, money paid, weather set fair...then bang, no gatherings up to 30 people announced 24 hours before.

  14. #14
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    By the way I have noticed that The Sun always has someone with a head covering or a bearded man with shalwar khurtha in the Covid headlines on their website. Its only trumped when the weather is hot and the girls in bikini's are tanning themselves on the beaches.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by IMMY69 View Post
    By the way I have noticed that The Sun always has someone with a head covering or a bearded man with shalwar khurtha in the Covid headlines on their website. Its only trumped when the weather is hot and the girls in bikini's are tanning themselves on the beaches.
    Because may be in a country like England seeing people sunbath is common while as people born and brought up there (not talking about visitors) roaming around like they are from medieval Arabia might be a relatively newer phenomenon.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Local.Dada View Post
    Because may be in a country like England seeing people sunbath is common while as people born and brought up there (not talking about visitors) roaming around like they are from medieval Arabia might be a relatively newer phenomenon.
    Erh no thatís not it.

  17. #17
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    Tory MP condemned for blaming BAME and Muslim people for rise in coronavirus cases

    A Conservative MP has prompted widespread condemnation after saying the "vast majority" of those breaking lockdown rules are from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities, while providing no evidence to support his claims.

    Craig Whittaker suggested BAME people - particularly Muslims - were "not taking [the coronavirus pandemic] seriously enough".

    The comments were widely criticised, with Labour describing them as "disgraceful and overt racism" and calling for him to apologise.

    The MP for the Calder Valley, one of the areas of northern England affected by newly imposed COVID-19 restrictions, made the comments during a call with LBC radio show host Ian Payne.

    "What I have seen in my constituency is that we haveÖ sections of the community that are just not taking the pandemic seriously," he said.

    Asked to confirm that he was referring to the Muslim community, Mr Whittaker responded: "Of course.

    "If you look at the areas where we've seen rises and cases, the vast majority - not by any stretch of the imagination all areas - it is the BAME communities that are not taking this seriously enough.

    "I've been challenging our local leaders forÖ three weeks, asking what we are doing to target these areas to let people know that this is still a very serious problem. Until people take it seriously, we're not going to get rid of this pandemic."

    He added: "It's not just the Asian community, of course.

    "We have areas of high multiple occupancy - when you have multiple families living in one household. That just doesn't specifically have to be in the Asian community, but that is the largest proportion.

    "Look at all the areas. You've got Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees. Bradford and Kirklees have two of the largest populations in West Yorkshire."

    Payne then sought to clarify the MP's comments again, asking: "So we're talking immigrant communities, are we?"

    Mr Whittaker responded: "We are. Immigrant and Asian population."

    Critics suggested many of those areas of the UK with the highest rates of infection had predominantly white populations.

    Others responded on social media by posting images of crowds of people, many apparently failing to adhere to social distancing guidelines, on beaches and outside pubs and bars.

    Boris Johnson opted not to distance himself from the remarks when asked if he agreed with Mr Whittaker during a Downing Street briefing.

    "I think it's up to all of us in government to make sure that the message is being heard loud and clear by everybody across the country, and to make sure that everybody is complying with the guidance," he said.

    Labour's shadow women and equalities secretary, Marsha de Cordova, called on the prime minister to "take action" over the comments.

    "Disgraceful and overt racism from this Tory MP blaming Black, Asian and minority ethnic people, the very people whose lives and livelihoods have been the worst hit by COVID-19," she said.

    "Boris Johnson must condemn this comment and take action."

    Shadow home secretary and Labour MP Nick Thomas-Symonds added: "This is incredibly poorly judged, divisive and hurtful from a Conservative MP.

    "People from all communities have made extraordinary sacrifices in this crisis and the higher death rates in some communities have been heartbreaking. He should apologise without delay."

    The Muslim Council of Britain said the comments were a "shameless scapegoating of minorities".

    "It is utterly unacceptable and Mr Whittaker should apologise," the group said in a statement.

    "Mosques and Muslim institutions have gone above and beyond to ensure social distancing rules are observed and initiated unprecedented education campaigns to ensure they are upheld by families.

    "It's one thing to discuss health inequalities and challenges with intergenerational households and occupational hazards - and these factors being prevalent in certain groups.

    "It's quite another to make baseless allegations claiming certain groups aren't taking the pandemic seriously, especially when these claims are contradicted by a local Director of Public Health."

    Mr Whittaker has been approached by Sky News for comment.

    But he later told the Press Association: "We have come from a situation where the infection rate was very low and we have seen spikes in those areas, but not exclusively to those areas."

    Asked if he was right to state BAME people had not been taking the rules seriously enough, he replied: "What else could I say?

    "The reality is, this pandemic has not gone away, we have seen spikes in these areas, something is happening."

    https://news.sky.com/story/tory-mp-c...cases-12039949

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Local.Dada View Post
    Because may be in a country like England seeing people sunbath is common while as people born and brought up there (not talking about visitors) roaming around like they are from medieval Arabia might be a relatively newer phenomenon.
    I understand that you are trying to take some sort of contra point but I find your posts to be very insulting towards Muslims who live in the UK.

    Be very careful how you express yourself on these forums..


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  19. #19
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    'Like cancelling Christmas' - Hancock criticised for lockdown announcement before Eid

    Matt Hancock's late-night announcement reinforcing lockdown in parts of northern England has been criticised for the impact on the UK's Muslim community - and likened to "cancelling Christmas".

    The Health Secretary tweeted the news at 9.16pm on Thursday and quickly faced accusations that the "last-minute" action is aimed at curtailing Eid celebrations.

    The measures were introduced hastily at the start of the annual Eid al-Adha "feast of sacrifice", with people in the areas affected told not to socialise with other households at home or in gardens.

    Following Mr Hancock's announcement, "Christmas Eve" began trending on Twitter as social media users talked about the impact on Muslim families and questioned whether the government would have made the same announcement the night before Christmas.

    One Twitter user, Rachel Palmer, tweeted: "Can you imagine this being announced on Christmas Eve, without a mention of the repercussions for Christians?

    "You're either racist, you don't care or you're completely detached from the nation you're supposed to be working for. More than 2.5 million Muslims in England!!!"

    Twitter user Alex Tiffin added: "If people were told at 10pm on Christmas Eve, via Twitter, that you could not see anyone not in your household, there would be outrage and likely people openly ignoring the rules. But, because it's happened on #EidAlAdha, Muslims are told to stop complaining and shut up."

    Harun Khan, secretary general of the British Muslim Council, told Sky News that the government's lack of communication is "eroding trust" within communities across the UK.

    He said: "With the first day of Eid being today, for Muslims in the affected areas, it is like being told they cannot visit family and friends for Christmas on Christmas Eve itself. Whilst the safety of communities is of paramount importance, as has remained the case from the very outset of this crisis, so is effective communication delivered in a timely fashion.

    "Failure to communicate makes it difficult for communities across the country to continue working together to minimise the spread of the virus, whilst eroding trust in the ability of authorities to steer our course as we tackle the COVID-19 crisis.

    "The UK government has failed to provide clarity on the shockingly short notice and the reasoning behind the new rules that British Muslims deserve - any such clarification would be most welcome."

    The way in which Mr Hancock made the announcement was also condemned by politicians and activists, with Sir Keir Starmer leading the criticism.

    The Labour leader said: "No one would argue with putting in place local action to reduce the transmission of coronavirus.

    "But announcing measures affecting potentially millions of people late at night on Twitter is a new low for the government's communications during this crisis."

    Saima Afzal, a community inclusion activist and Blackburn councillor, said the government "left it too late" to impose the restrictions.

    She added: "Doesn't Matt Hancock see the potential impact two hours before Eid?

    "The lack of clarity for every community, not just Muslims, it's so last minute. It's going to be hard, with any celebration where people are coming together and sharing food, we will miss our loved ones more."

    Meanwhile, Scotland's Justice Minister Humza Yousaf tweeted: "I feel for everyone in the North of England affected by some lockdown measures re-imposed, particularly the Muslim community who are celebrating Eid today. Many would have been looking forward to seeing family."

    While acknowledging that the government was right to take action, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham told Sky News that ministers "have a habit of saying something and then it being a few hours until the detail emerges".

    He continued: "And that certainly was the case last night, and later on last night a lot of people I think felt very uncertain about what exactly was being announced".

    Mr Hancock has since denied that the new restriction in parts of northern England was to stifle Eid celebrations.

    He told Sky News the new restrictions were "absolutely necessary", adding: "When you face a pandemic like this, it is important to move quickly if that's what needed."

    He also said his "heart goes out" to the Muslim community ahead of Eid celebrations, which will be heavily impacted by the new restrictions.

    He added: "We're constantly vigilant and we've been looking at the data, and unfortunately we've seen across parts of northern England an increase in the number of cases of coronavirus."

    Many Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha, which can last between two to four days, by sacrificing an animal for feasts to be shared by family, friends and those in need in large groups.

    The new rules, which came into effect from midnight, ban people in Greater Manchester, parts of east Lancashire and West Yorkshire from meeting each other inside their homes or in gardens following a spike in virus cases.

    https://news.sky.com/story/like-canc...snt-sf-twitter

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by saeedhk View Post
    There is no point being unhappy. Follow the laws of the land. Do not demand special treatment!
    The majority of the UK muslims are law abiding people, the reason for the frustration is there is double standards in the government's polices. Pubs and beaches are regularly humming with very little social distancing, football fans celebrating teams success outside grounds in thousands, recent Bobby Charlton funeral thousands lining up in the streets with no apparent social distancing, I could go on.


  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by MenInG View Post
    I understand that you are trying to take some sort of contra point but I find your posts to be very insulting towards Muslims who live in the UK.

    Be very careful how you express yourself on these forums..
    Look man, as a mod you have seen enough of my posts. Sure I have my own bias like you have yours but show me one place where I have insulted muslims or Islam?

    Yes, I have a problem with some rigid stubborn values and lack of common sense humans display regardless of religion. In this case I feel it happens to be a group of people who happen to be Muslims. I am not saying that represents everyone.

    Look I am going to continue to express my opinion freely and obviously if I exceed the boundaries of good taste or if you think I donít bring anything to the forum or I just post gibberish here you are free to ban me. There is plenty of criticism about objectionable behavior and statements of Hindus as well. You can have your bias.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Local.Dada View Post
    Because may be in a country like England seeing people sunbath is common while as people born and brought up there (not talking about visitors) roaming around like they are from medieval Arabia might be a relatively newer phenomenon.
    So they are racists? This maybe new to you coming from a place like india where people can be treated like 2nd or 3rd class citizens but in the UK theres laws protecting people from discrimination based on race religion etc

    As equal citizens it shouldnt matter what colour or religion you are The muslim population has every right in this country to be peeved at how this new lockdown has been handled on eid eve

    Its fine for people to pack our beaches, congregate in thousands for football etc but i cant meet my loved ones on a day of celebration?

    Dont judge us by indias standards This country is way ahead of where your country stands
    Last edited by Zaz; 1st August 2020 at 03:51.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manunited18 View Post
    The majority of the UK muslims are law abiding people, the reason for the frustration is there is double standards in the government's polices. Pubs and beaches are regularly humming with very little social distancing, football fans celebrating teams success outside grounds in thousands, recent Bobby Charlton funeral thousands lining up in the streets with no apparent social distancing, I could go on.
    This is the problem here. I myself have seen people from the Muslim community not paying sufficient heed to social distancing measures, but then equally I've seen exactly the same heedless attitude from white communities in all those instances you mentioned as well.

    The Tory govt is on the back foot at the moment, a bit of Muslim bashing might get them back in favour with the pub drinking masses.

    That said, you do have to wonder why the virus has spiked in northern areas with high Muslim populations all of a sudden when initially it started off in London.


    I for one welcome our new In____ overlords - Kent Brockman

  24. #24
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    That backbench Tory MP guy is obviously a racist. In fact itís quite odd to see him openly being very ďyeah thatís my opinion so whatĒ about it all. I canít see him being particularly popular in Calderdale after this misguided rant.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zaz View Post
    So they are racists? This maybe new to you coming from a place like india where people can be treated like 2nd or 3rd class citizens but in the UK theres laws protecting people from discrimination based on race religion etc

    As equal citizens it shouldnt matter what colour or religion you are The muslim population has every right in this country to be peeved at how this new lockdown has been handled on eid eve

    Its fine for people to pack our beaches, congregate in thousands for football etc but i cant meet my loved ones on a day of celebration?

    Dont judge us by indias standards This country is way ahead of where your country stands
    In contrary to your claims, the frustration that is built up inside doesn't portray a rosy picture of UK to be honest.

    As I've seen in PP, a resident pakistani has a clear identity where as very few UK Pakistani is free from an identity crisis. May be it is the system in UK or something else, but it doesn't look healthy.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itachi View Post
    In contrary to your claims, the frustration that is built up inside doesn't portray a rosy picture of UK to be honest.

    As I've seen in PP, a resident pakistani has a clear identity where as very few UK Pakistani is free from an identity crisis. May be it is the system in UK or something else, but it doesn't look healthy.
    How do you think British Pakistanis differ in this regard from the British Indian community?


    I for one welcome our new In____ overlords - Kent Brockman

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cpt. Rishwat View Post
    How do you think British Pakistanis differ in this regard from the British Indian community?
    You tell me. I have been accused of stereotyping but instead of banter or condescending tone give me your honest perspective. If you resort to that it will just make people more stubborn and increase the prejudice.

    Do you see any distinction with the Brit- Pak and Brit Indian community in terms of lifestyle,culture,education etc ?

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Local.Dada View Post
    You tell me. I have been accused of stereotyping but instead of banter or condescending tone give me your honest perspective. If you resort to that it will just make people more stubborn and increase the prejudice.

    Do you see any distinction with the Brit- Pak and Brit Indian community in terms of lifestyle,culture,education etc ?
    I wasn't asking you, although if you want to take a shot at it be my guest. But since Itachi has voiced concerns, then why not wait until he answers before jumping in with your own demands?


    I for one welcome our new In____ overlords - Kent Brockman

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cpt. Rishwat View Post
    How do you think British Pakistanis differ in this regard from the British Indian community?
    I've no idea since I have talked with only a few (Brit Indian).

    Do they suffer from the same?
    Last edited by Itachi; 1st August 2020 at 21:21.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itachi View Post
    I've no idea since I have talked with only a few (Brit Indian).

    Do they suffer from the same?
    Why wouldn't they? I would assume they face similar hurdles or challenges.


    I for one welcome our new In____ overlords - Kent Brockman

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cpt. Rishwat View Post
    Why wouldn't they? I would assume they face similar hurdles or challenges.
    If they do, then it is evident that the English system/culture has some flaws in assimilation of immigrants where each from different parts of the world feels insecured and tends to lose identity as time goes by.

    I haven't seen the same for pakistani/indian living in US.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itachi View Post
    If they do, then it is evident that the English system/culture has some flaws in assimilation of immigrants where each from different parts of the world feels insecured and tends to lose identity as time goes by.

    I haven't seen the same for pakistani/indian living in US.
    To be fair, you are building a picture based on interactions online, perhaps you would have a better idea if you saw in real life. If I analysed Indians based on the web inter-actions, I would assume they all have massive complex. But I assume maybe in real life they are a bit more relaxed and less preachy.


    I for one welcome our new In____ overlords - Kent Brockman

  33. #33
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    The government will be criticised no matter what it does. Gonna be much worse if Christmas and the New Year are observed under lock down.


    PP's own self proclaimed sharpshooter and defender of Islam and Pakistan.


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