New Coronavirus Tier Restrictions

To: All Provincial/Divisional/District Heads of Orders and Regional Grand Prefects in England

Dear Sir and Brother,

Following yesterday’s parliamentary approval of the new Coronavirus Tier Restrictions, I am now able to provide you with further direction as to the impact these measures will have on masonic activities. With immediate effect, the general suspension of masonic meetings, introduced at the beginning of November, has been lifted. Meetings may resume subject to the directions given below and having regard to the level of risk within the area of your jurisdiction.

Tier 1
Masonic meetings fall within the ‘permitted organised gatherings’ exemption in the new legislation which means that they may only be held in Masonic Centres or on other premises permitted by law i.e. a function room in a members’ club or hotel. Those responsible for organising such meetings, as well as those who manage the premises where they take place, are obliged to conduct a risk assessment and take all reasonable steps to minimise the risk of transmission of the virus. Consequently, meetings may resume subject to the Rule of Six which, for the Orders administered from Mark Masons’ Hall, does include the Tyler (or equivalent).

Tier 2
The new law also allows masonic meetings to be held in areas falling within Tier 2 as ‘permitted organised gatherings’ described above. Local Heads of Order may exercise their judgement as to whether to allow meetings under Tier 2 restrictions to take place within their jurisdiction To minimise the risk of transmission of the virus, the maximum permitted attendance at a meeting is Six (to include the Tyler or equivalent).

Tier 3
The restrictions on people from separate households meeting indoors means that in areas falling within Tier 3, masonic meetings cannot take place and should be suspended.

Movement between areas subject to different Tiers
Individuals who live in Tier 3 areas are not permitted to attend masonic meetings in Tier 1 or Tier 2 areas.

Masonic dining
The law relating to dining after meetings remains unclear so until there is greater clarity on what is permitted, festive boards must not take place.

It is important to remind you that whilst you have an implied power to impose a local suspension in the current circumstances, this should only be done following consultation with the Secretariat.

With fraternal regards and best wishes.

Ryan A Williams
R.W.Bro. Ryan A Williams, P.G.J.W.
Grand Secretary


Click here to download the letter from Grand Lodge


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