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Ramadan and the impact of COVID-19

Ramadan is the holiest month in the Islamic year and this year it started on Thursday 23 April and ends on Saturday 23 May 2020.

During this time, Muslims observing Ramadan fast during daylight hours which means they do not eat or drink, although a number of vulnerable groups are exempt on health reasons and other circumstances, such as breastfeeding mums, or older people with health conditions.

Employees who are abstaining from food and drinks will have had one meal before dawn and may not eat or drink again until after sunset, which may affect their energy, concentration levels and cause them to become dehydrated and more tired than usual.

In addition to fasting, Muslims may also increase their spiritual observations, for example by praying more often during the day, by giving to charities, or by increasing contact with close and extended family members.

The experience of Ramadan will be very different this year due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, potentially making it more difficult for people. For example, social distancing will make group worship much more difficult and many mosques have been closed to public worship.

If you are observing Ramadan, talk to your manager to agree how you might adjust when you do your duties.

As a manager or supervisor you could speak to your team members and check if they need any adjustments or support during Ramadan.

For more information, please see the guide produced by The Muslim Council of Britain.