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UK Covid live: Sunak suggests next stage of Covid support measures to be announced in March budget


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UK Covid live: Sunak suggests next stage of Covid support measures to be announced in March budget

Latest updates: chancellor signals that further support could be announced in the budget after unveiling £4.6bn package of grants

Scotland’s Catholic bishops have attacked Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement that all places of worship must close during the lockdown on the Scottish mainland as “arbitrary and unfair.”

In a joint statement issued by the Roman Catholic church, they said there was no evidence that church services were hotspots for transmission.

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No evidence has been forthcoming to justify the inclusion of places of worship as sources of infection. Without such scientific evidence these restrictions will appear to Catholics to be arbitrary and unfair. Moreover, a significant number of other sectors similarly restricted last March alongside public worship – such as construction, manufacturing and elite sports – have now been left free to continue in operation.

We also note that, in England, the essential contribution of public worship to the spiritual welfare of all citizens during this crisis has now been endorsed by the decision not to close places of worship while the Scottish government has apparently retreated from this view, causing dismay and confusion.

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