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Eid: Celebrities urge Muslims to celebrate festival at home

Eid: Celebrities urge Muslims to celebrate festival at home

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Image caption Nadiya Hussain (left) and Adil Ray (right)

Celebrities including baker Nadiya Hussain and Citizen Khan creator Adil Ray have urged Muslims celebrating Eid this weekend to follow social distancing guidelines.

Traditionally, the festival is marked with communal prayers in mosques and visits to friends and family.

But in a video posted online, Muslims were encouraged to stay at home and celebrate with their families online.

Hussain said "now could not be a better time to put others first".

Eid is celebrated at the end of the fasting month of Ramandan and is a special time for nearly two billion Muslims all over the world.

The Eid al-Fitr prayers are usually among the best attended of the year, however, mosques are currently closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Addressing his fellow Muslims in the video, Ray said: "This year, we can stay home, save lives and give consideration to others. What a wonderful Eid gift that would be."

Former Blue Peter presenter and children's book author Konnie Huq, who also appears in the video, said: "By following the guidance we are helping to protect not just ourselves but also our families."

At Thursday's Downing Street coronavirus briefing, a member of the public asked about advice for those celebrating Eid this weekend.

Mehwish from Coventry asked: "With the BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) coronavirus death rate being relatively high, will you be advising the Muslim community to stay at home or stay alert during the upcoming three-day celebration of Eid?

"If not, what is your advice for them? As a member I am concerned that some people may be finding ways to flout the rules like having garden parties or gatherings."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Millions of Muslims have been observing Ramadan under lockdown this year

Chief medical officer Prof Chris Whitty said religious celebrations for all faiths will have to continue to be adapted to meet social distancing rules.

He said: "Everybody knows what those rules are and they remain the same for every community.

"And the reason we must all do that is, this is to protect the whole community, all communities and all of us must find ways around this, of whatever faith."

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Media captionSome British Muslims have been breaking their fast over Zoom

Earlier this week, the Muslim Council of Britain - an umbrella organisation of various UK Muslim bodies - said people should celebrate Eid at home and virtually.

Analysis by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has found that black men and women are nearly twice as likely to die with coronavirus as white people in England and Wales.

Men and women from Indian, Bangladeshi and Pakistani communities had an increased risk of between 30% and 80%, the analysis found.