Community urged to commemorate religious and culturally significant events safely

Police are reminding the community to celebrate upcoming commemorative events safely this year by not engaging in groups and avoiding non-essential travel, in order to protect their loved ones and the wider community from the threat of COVID-19.

A number of communities are celebrating events of spiritual, religious or cultural significance in the coming weeks, including (but not limited to) Easter, Ramadan and Passover.

While this may be a time when families usually come together to celebrate, police are reminding the community this year is different – and social distancing remains crucial in stopping the spread of COVID-19.

NSW Police Force Corporate Sponsor for Cultural and Linguistic Diversity, Assistant Commissioner Peter Thurtell, said being apart now will give us our best chance of being together in the future.

“It will feel different to not share a meal with extended family, to not break the fast with people we value or to not be able to sit around the table with generations exchanging stories and tradition,” Assistant Commissioner Thurtell said.

“The hardest thing for many of us will be that at this time we cannot as a family, visit loved ones and friends and we are unable to celebrate in each other’s homes.

“It is a time where changing our behaviour is not about breaking tradition but rather ensuring that we have a future for traditions that have transformed through this experience.”

Social distancing remains one of our strongest weapons in the fight against COVID-19, and slowing the spread directly helps those on the frontline.

“I ask you to keep in your thoughts, prayers and offerings all of those working on the front line; our doctors, nurses allied health staff, police, ambulance, aged and mental health providers, farmers, teachers and all those providing essential support that keep the state running in this challenging time in our history,” Assistant Commissioner Thurtell said.

So please remember at this time:

o Stay at least 1.5 meters away from others

o Remember to not go to restaurants and dine in

o Visit others only if essential or for compassionate reasons

o If you are quarantining, please continue to follow the strict instructions

Anyone who has information regarding individuals or businesses in contravention of a COVID-19-related ministerial direction is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence.

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