Important Notice Re: Covid-19 Precautions

Brethren and Companions,

I am sure you will be aware from recent news and other media reports that the rate of coronavirus infections is rising, with a consequent increase in the number of deaths from the virus, and it is predicted to rise further during the autumn and winter months.

HM Government is coming under increasing pressure to re-introduce some restrictions (‘Plan B’) to avoid the NHS being overwhelmed, and we must all act as responsible citizens and play our part to ensure that this does not happen.

Since the resumption of Masonic activities at the beginning of September, there have been several cases of Brethren and Companions contracting the virus, both within the Province of Middlesex and elsewhere, and it has recently been brought to my attention that, following attendances at Lodge meetings and/or Chapter convocations, several Brethren and Companions have contracted COVID-19.

Further, I understand that one of our older Companions has very sadly died from the virus, having contracted it following his attendance at a Chapter convocation, although there is no evidence of a direct connection.

Whilst we all wish to return to some sort of normality and resume our Masonic activities, we do need to remember that the pandemic is not yet over and we have a duty to take all reasonable steps to protect ourselves, our families, friends, and fellow members, as best we can.

Accordingly, social distancing and personal health and safety rules MUST continue to be observed and enforced, especially at Festive Boards, and our Masonic Centres have been reminded to ensure these personal health and safety rules are upheld.

May I please remind you of a few key points, which should be observed until the coronavirus has abated, as follows: –

1. If you feel unwell for whatever reason, however minor, you should NOT attend any meeting or convocation until the symptoms have abated, and seek medical advice, if necessary.

2. Before attending any meeting or convocation please self-administer a lateral flow test. If the result is positive, you MUST self-isolate and immediately arrange to undertake a polymerase chain reaction (‘PCR’) test to confirm the initial result. You can find the nearest location where you can undertake a PCR test on the internet. If this result is also positive, you should continue to self-isolate and seek medical advice until advised that it is safe for you to leave home again. (www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test)

3. If you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace by email, text or phone and told you have been in contact with a person who has coronavirus, please follow the NHS Guidance and stay at home for 10 – 14 days. Even if you do not experience symptoms of the virus, you need to stay at home to protect your community and prevent a further spread of the virus. Self-isolating is crucial to safely minimising risk, and you must not leave your home for any reason. If you need food or medicine, please order it online or by phone, or ask family or friends to drop it off at the front door of your home.

4. Please wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 – 30 seconds and/or use a sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol for a similar length of time.

5. Please wear a face covering, wherever prescribed or reasonably possible to do so, including during Masonic meetings or convocations.

6. Please observe social distancing measures and avoid any unnecessary contact with others. Freemasons have a natural tendency to wish to shake hands on meeting their fellow Brethren or Companions, but please consider using other means of non-contacting greeting.

Finally, please do keep safe and well and follow the simple actions we must always observe to continue to protect ourselves, our families, friends, and fellow members as best we can, and please do continue to abide by the simple rules of: Hands> Face> Space> Fresh Air.

With kindest fraternal regards,


 
 
 
 
 
Peter R A Baker
Pro Provincial Grand Master for and
Grand Superintendent in and over Middlesex

21st October 2021

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