MUSLIMS are being reminded to celebrate Eid at home as the holy month of Ramadan ends this weekend.

Wiltshire and Swindon’s Local Resilience Forum issued an open letter about social distancing rules.

Ramadan traditionally ends with the religious festival Eid-Al-Fitr which normally involves gatherings at mosques for prayer services and meeting up with friends and family for a feast.

Places of worship including mosques remain closed, and large gatherings for prayer or feasting are not possible under the current Covid-19 restrictions.

People from the same house can go outside together and one person can meet in a public place outside with one other person from a different house, but must keep two metres apart. Gatherings of more than two people from different households are prohibited.

Special prayers for the day of Eid may be prayed at home, gifts can be exchanged by post or online and celebrations can be shared virtually.

Other restrictions mean that people cannot go to the home of a relative at Eid – visiting other homes for social or religious activities where you do not reside is not currently permitted.

Cemeteries and memorial grounds are allowed to be open, but no more than two people can visit together from separate households and will need to stay two metres apart from others not in their household and wash their hands frequently.

Local Resilience Forum chair and chief constable Kier Pritchard said, “We know Eid is an important time of the year for many people and normally a chance to meet up with families and friends and celebrate the end of Ramadan.

“Sadly this year, Eid cannot be marked in the same way. If you are preparing for Eid, please think about different ways of celebrating, for example making video calls with friends and family.

“It is vital to stay safe and protect others while celebrating the special day."

Angus Macpherson, Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon added: “I have personally enjoyed Eid every year for the last eight years since becoming PCC, joining Muslim communities in Swindon and Wiltshire.

“This crisis has meant sacrifices from all of us and many people of faith have had to adapt practices through religious festivals, including Easter, Passover, Vaisakhi, Ramadan and Eid.

“Muslims and other faith communities have met these challenges head on, using technology for prayer and Iftar with family and friends throughout Ramadan.

“All of us should feel proud of how we have come together to make social distancing work in this crisis."