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Covid-19 Tier System and Freemasonry

Brethren All,

The introduction of the local tier system to control Covid-19 has raised more questions regarding Lodge meetings and if, or how they might go ahead. UGLE has prepared some useful information which can be accessed directly from a new ‘Covid-19 Member Guidance’ menu item on the UGLE website.

The tier system is now directly affecting Buckinghamshire with Slough moving into Tier 2 today and as a result, the Slough centre has decided to close until such time as the area recovers to a Tier 1 status.

One of the common questions which has been asked a few times is “I live in a Tier 2 area, can I visit a Lodge which is meeting in Tier 1”. The short and simple answer is “No”. The details from government can be found here where under the section on ‘Meeting family and friends’ it states:

You must not meet socially with friends and family indoors in any setting unless you live with them or have formed a support bubble with them. This includes private homes, and any other indoor venues…

It goes on to confirm: “If you live in a high alert level area you also cannot meet indoors with people outside of the area, unless exceptions apply.

Lodges that normally meet at the Slough Centre, can continue to arrange meetings if they apply for a dispensation and change their venue to a centre in a Tier 1 area. Meetings can then go ahead under the “Rule of six” guidance AS LONG AS all members attending live in a Tier 1 area.

As a result of the closure of the Slough Centre, the Provincial Meeting planned for Monday, has been moved to Marlow and will take place with just six attending. A full update will be published on the Provincial website after the meeting.

We continue to operate in very difficult times and I am very grateful for all of the support we continue to see across our fraternity. Please, above all else, do all you can to stay safe and look after those close to you.

Yours sincerely and fraternally

Hugh Douglas-Smith 

Deputy Provincial Grand Master