Ramadan 2021 in the UK: All you need to know
Ramadan is expected to start in the UK on April 13, the second time the holy month is being observed during the Covid-19 pandemic.
This year, Muslims will be allowed to attend Covid-secure mosques, after being denied during the UK's first lockdown 12 months ago.
The holy month takes place as the UK continues Covid-19 vaccinations and Muslims are encouraged to receive the shot.
When will Ramadan begin in the UK?
Muslims in Britain began Ramadan on April 13, based on the sighting of the crescent new moon.
London Central Mosque wished everyone a peaceful Ramadan in a tweet.
When will Ramadan end?
Ramadan typically lasts 29 or 30 days, ending when the next new moon is sighted.
The final iftar should take place on the evening of May 12.
What Covid-19 restrictions are in place at mosques in the UK during Ramadan?
Mosques are open this year and can be attended by as many people as can be safely accommodated with social distancing.
Many mosques in the UK will be running shorter services for limited numbers of people.
To attend prayers, some people may need to register at certain mosques, including for the nightly taraweeh prayers.
Worshippers should also bring their own prayer mats and wear face masks.
Mosques are also encouraged to stream events live where possible to prevent large crowds from gathering.
Anyone with Covid-19 symptoms should remain at home.
What restrictions are in place for homes?
Gatherings of people from more than two households are not allowed to be held indoors at home over the month of Ramadan.
Two households or more are allowed to meet outdoors, including in private gardens, but are limited to groups of six.
Can I still receive a Covid-19 vaccine the UK during Ramadan?
Receiving a Covid-19 vaccine will not break the fast observed over Ramadan, Britain’s National Health Service and Muslim scholars said.
“Now is the time to put faith to the test, preserve life and trust the opinion of Islamic scholars and mosque committees who have confirmed the vaccination and lateral flow tests will not invalidate or break the Ramadan fast,” NHS director Dr Habib Naqvi said.
“We have lost too many mosque worshippers and with ethnic minority people already at increased risk of coronavirus.”
Dr Farzana Hussain, a Muslim and physician at The Project Surgery in East London, said receiving a vaccine did not break the fast because it was not nutrition.
“There is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t have it if you are eligible and have been invited for your Covid-19 vaccine, and those scheduled for their second dose should take it,” Dr Hussain said.
“The Quran says saving your life is the most important thing: to save one life is to save the whole of humanity. It’s a responsibility of a practising Muslim to take their vaccine.”
What changes have been made to the UK’s vaccine programme?
Some vaccination sites will stay open later so Muslims can be inoculated after breaking their fast in the evening.
Vaccination centres at mosques will also be open throughout Ramadan.
Some mosques are also planning pop-up vaccination clinics to coincide with iftar.
Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi praised mosques for encouraging worshippers to receive the shot.
“It goes back to convenience, access and support. It’s a place that the community trusts,” Mr Zahawi said.
“And thinking it through, if people are coming for iftar to the mosque, what a great way to book them in afterwards to have their jab.”
How will rapid testing stop the spread of Covid-19 during Ramadan?
The NHS said Muslims should take advantage of a new programme that allows households access to rapid Covid-19 tests.
Anyone in England who does not have symptoms can now receive regular lateral flow tests to check for coronavirus.
Households can collect two packs of seven tests from local pharmacies and test sites or have them delivered through the post.
The tests take 30 minutes to show a result.
Dr Hina Shahid from the Muslim Doctors Association said the tests would help Muslims to detect coronavirus before they attend prayers.
“I strongly encourage Muslims who are able to take their vaccination and lateral flow tests during this holy month to do so and help protect themselves and their community,” Dr Shahid said.
"Any concerns about vaccination or rapid test results can be discussed with GPs and healthcare professionals. We are here to support patients to make informed decisions.”
Updated: April 13, 2021 09:52 PM