Celebrating Diwali safely

Hindus, Sikhs and Jains in the Black Country and West Birmingham will be celebrating Diwali this November, but unfortunately, the festivities will have to be a little different due to Coronavirus restrictions. The five-day festival begins on 12 November and usually sees families and friends get together for feasts and fireworks.

However, as restrictions are put in place between 5 November and 2 December, you must not meet socially indoors with family or friends unless they are part of your household or support bubble.

You can meet with one person from another household at a time in outdoor public places – children under school age and those dependent on round-the-clock care can remain with their parents without counting towards the two-person limit.

Places of worship are also closed during this period (except for funerals and individual prayer), and everyone is advised to avoid unnecessary journeys.

Dr Anand Rischie, Chair of Walsall CCG said: “Everyone has already given up so many freedoms this year, but it’s vital we follow these latest restrictions to drive down the numbers of cases and hospital admissions our area.

“To protect the most vulnerable in our communities, go back to what you did to stay in touch with loved ones during lockdown in the spring. Arrange video calls, exchange gifts by post, and light up your home so your neighbours can see that you are celebrating.

“Diwali is a celebration of new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil, and light over darkness. If we all work together and follow these latest restrictions, we too will triumph over the coronavirus and be able to see our friends and families properly soon.”

Alongside these restrictions, please continue to wear face coverings where appropriate, follow social distancing rules and wash your hands regularly. If you have any coronavirus symptoms, you and everyone you live with must self-isolate and you must get a test.