Communal worship at some of the biggest mosques in Harrow has been suspended following the announcement of a third national lockdown.

A statement from the Muslim Forum of Middlesex confirmed public prayers would be put on hold to help reduce the spread of Covid-19.

The announcement covers activities at Harrow Central Mosque, Masjidun Noor, The KSIMC (Hujjat) in Stanmore, SICM (Mahfil Ali), and The Sri Lankan Muslim Cultural Centre.

Harrow Central Mosque had initially planned to continue with communal worship with health and safety guidelines in place.

However, after advice from Harrow Council and conversations between various faith groups, it has agreed to take further precautions.

“Following the national lockdown and the extremely dire situation in Harrow with an infection rate close to 1,000 cases per 100,000, there is a real concern the situation will continue to get worse,” the statement read.

“This decision was very difficult, and the mosques are all working in different ways to try and maintain communal activities virtually.

“Please refer to each mosque’s specific website and social media for further information and to be updated on the ongoing review of the situation.

“We all pray for the end of the pandemic, all the key workers and those within the NHS who are working to save lives. We also pray for those who are suffering from Covid-19 and for those who have lost their lives.”

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday (January 4) that England would face tougher restrictions, Cllr Graham Henson, leader of Harrow Council, wrote to community leaders reminding them of their responsibilities in combatting the spread of Covid-19.

While places of worship can remain open, Cllr Henson said the council has “strongly advised” that this should only be in “exceptional circumstances”.

He explained there is additional support available to those wishing to move services online and reminded people of the limits when it comes to number of attendees at funerals (30), linked ceremonies such as ashes scatterings (six), and weddings (six).

According to the Government, those who do visit places of worship must not mingle with those outside their household or bubble and social distancing should be observed at all times.