British Muslims partner with NHS Test & Trace for large COVID-19-Safe Muslim Convention

Ahmadiyya Muslim Community UK – Press and Media Desk

Press Release

For Immediate Release

A Muslim community that has been hosting Britain’s biggest annual three-day Islamic convention has this year partnered with NHS Test & Trace to make it COVID-19 safe.

Putting health and safety first, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s 55th annual convention, Jalsa Salana, in the Hampshire countryside, being held 6th-8th August will be markedly different.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has worked with Test & Trace over the past year on event measures to help reduce the risk of Covid-19.

As a result, members can only physically attend the convention if they are invited, can show proof of double vaccination, and undergo a lateral flow test before entry. There will also be social distancing measures in place.

Additionally, the event itself will be dramatically scaled back, with only 4,000 delegates attending instead of the usual 35,000. Members not invited will join proceedings virtually at 40 specially set up satellite sites, including:
● The Baitul Futuh Mosque, Morden, South London
● Dar ul Barakat Mosque, Birmingham
● Dar ul Aman Mosque, Manchester

Rafiq Hayat, National President Ahmadiyya Muslim Community UK said:
“Even though most Covid restrictions were lifted in England on 19 July, we recognise the need to exercise care and shall try and provide a safe and covid-free environment for our Jalsa.

“Throughout the pandemic, our mosques have been operating at a reduced level and we will continue to prioritise safety of our delegates as well as the local community.”

“The programme from the Jalsa will be transmitted live via satellite TV around the world and the Jalsa can also be followed on social media. Therefore, even those who cannot attend can gain the spiritual benefits of the event.”

Jo Churchill, Health Minister.

Health Minister Jo Churchill said:
“Testing is vital to the health and protection of our family, friends and those we worship with, it allows us to catch cases early before they spread. “That is why, I am delighted that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is working with us to help target the virus locally and safely enable the Jalsa to take place.”

Jenny Harries, Chief Executive of the UK Health Security Agency

Chief Executive of the UK Health Security Agency Jenny Harries said:
“Working with local communities to help keep them safe is a critical part of the work the UK Health Security Agency carries out on a daily basis – rolling out Test and Trace programmes like this to improve detection of positive cases and protect more people more quickly. Our local level partnerships right across the UK are instrumental in the ongoing national response to controlling COVID-19 and I am delighted we have been able to help these important celebrations.”

“Around one in three people with COVID-19 do not display symptoms, meaning anyone can infect someone close to them unknowingly. This rapid testing programme with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is one of many that is helping us return to a more normal way of life.”

This year, again with safety in mind, external guests are not invited onsite, however, as in previous years some dignitaries will be sending video messages of support.

Rapid testing using lateral flow tests have been distributed through local mosques so the community can attend the event safe in the knowledge that they are not infectious or enabling them to isolate immediately if they were to test positive.

The purpose of the Jalsa Salana is to strengthen one’s link with God and bring the community together in a spirit of fraternity.

The highlight of the Jalsa will be the addresses by the worldwide head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the fifth Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.

Head Office: Baitul Futuh Mosque, 181 London Road, Morden, Surrey SM4 5PT