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UGLE Dining restrictions

PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2020 1:13 pm
by Peter Dowling
Dining Restrictions
Donald Taylor, Director of Legal Services at UGLE, answers some common questions about Masonic dining in England during Covid restrictions.


Why is Lodge dining after a meeting banned?

Government guidance in England does not currently permit more than two households (or six people if outdoors) to gather together to dine. Lodge dining is not banned in areas where government guidance permits it, for example in outdoor dining areas in Wales.

If I am hungry after a Lodge meeting can I eat at the Masonic Hall or a nearby restaurant?

You may book dining where it is available at a Masonic Hall or restaurant. You may only book for yourself, or for a group of Masons from up to two households (or six people if outdoors).

Can my Lodge arrange an informal meal or drinks?

A Lodge can make its members aware of local opportunities for refreshments before or after a meeting, but it must not organise a meal or drinks for its members. Members who dine or drink at a venue where other members are present must follow the rules applicable to the venue including those about safe distancing.

But larger groups are allowed to dine at wedding receptions?

Up to 30 people are allowed to gather to dine at a wedding reception. This exception only applies to weddings and civil ceremonies at this time.

My Masonic Hall is interpreting the guidance differently.

If you are not confused by the government’s guidance, then you haven’t read it properly. It is capable of multiple interpretations. Every Masonic Hall which decides to open must have regard to the guidance and put appropriate risk assessments and mitigating measures in place but practice will vary depending on each Hall’s particular circumstances, and on any local restrictions. Individual Freemasons will reasonably come to a variety of different conclusions about the appropriate balance to be struck.

Re: UGLE Dining restrictions

PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2020 7:26 pm
by lew finnis
Clear as mud

Re: UGLE Dining restrictions

PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2020 9:45 pm
by Trouillogan
It's very simple really - I'm not attending any indoors meetings of any kind whatsoever this year. I will reassess in January.

This pestilence is out there. It is deaf and blind to anything we may wish to do. It is air-borne. It is highly virulent. It kills people.

I aim to be around for a while yet.

Stay healthy, chaps.

Re: UGLE Dining restrictions

PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2020 8:51 am
by Peter Moir
I'm with you Trouillogan, I'm going to no Masonic meetings this year.I have a medical condition and intend being on God's Earth for a while longer. The Virus does not spread by itself and the only way it can be caught is by human connection and we are the cause of the pandemic. My hatches are battened down until January 2021 and then we will evaluate the position.

Re: UGLE Dining restrictions

PostPosted: Wed Aug 19, 2020 9:47 am
by Trouillogan
To help things along for brethren, I have taken to hosting regular weekly or fortnightly Zoom sessions for several lodges and other units. There's a loosely structured agenda for these sessions, a toast to absent brethren at 9 pm and a masonic quiz question for them to ponder on and offer their answers at the next session. They all seem to like the connection this gives them during these 'dark' days and it helps newer brethren by exchanging views and becoming more familiar with other members - arguably more so than during the summer break in more normal times.