13th July 2021
Following the announcement by the Prime Minister on 12th July, I believe it will be useful if I reiterate UGLE’s stance, which will continue to apply when restrictions are eased in England from 19 July.
1. In holding Lodge and Chapter meetings it is essential that Brethren and Companions comply with all legal requirements from time to time in force.
2. Provided that they do so, it is not UGLE’s policy to impose restrictions on meeting beyond those required by the law.
3. No pressure must be applied to anyone either to attend or refrain from attending meetings.
4. The same principle applies to the wearing of face coverings, which should be regarded as a matter of personal choice.
5. The use of the modifications to the ceremonies, introduced in the summer of 2020 to enable ceremonies to be performed, should cease as soon as is practicable, except where local legal requirements are imposed in relation to such matters as social distancing.
6. The ceremony of Raising (and of Exaltation in the Royal Arch) is once again permitted.
7. It is nonetheless sensible to ensure that a candidate for any degree, and in particular that of initiation, is made aware that the ceremony he will undergo will involve a measure of physical contact, so that he can make his own decision as to whether to proceed with it at this time.
8. Regulations 5 to 11 of the Temporary Emergency Measures for Covid-19 remain in force, to the extent that they are needed, until 31st December 2021, or such earlier date as the Grand Master or the Pro Grand Master on his behalf shall direct.
The Pro Grand Master has directed that Regulations 1 to 4 shall cease to apply from 19th July 2021 except in relation to the unexpired period of a suspension already notified in accordance with them.
Yours sincerely and fraternally,
VW Bro/E Comp David Staples
Grand Secretary/Grand Scribe E
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