today, daily press conferences will be hosted by the Prime Minister and Senior
Ministers on the coronavirus pandemic, supported by scientific and medical
experts including the Chief Medical Office and Chief Scientific Adviser. The
Grand Lodge of Scotland will abide fully with all recommendations emanating
from the Government press conferences. Accordingly, Lodge Secretaries will
receive updated advice immediately it becomes available.
in their latest announcement, coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response, is the recommendation that arranging group
events of 500 people or more should be discouraged. For this very reason we have decided to
postpone the Divine Service scheduled to take place in Glasgow on Sunday, 29th
I have been asked why we are not following Ireland,
Sweden, Denmark and other countries in having a total ban – my understanding is
that they have only done so because of Government intervention. If our
Government issue similar instructions, we will comply immediately for as long
as is necessary albeit I am aware that many Lodges have significant milestone
events during May, June, July and August and we will do our best to accommodate
those meetings if at all possible to do so.
safety of our members and their families remains paramount – the NHS and BBC
Virus update pages remain very useful and can provide far more regular updates
than any other source – please visit them regularly to keep yourselves safe and
aware of the latest developments but let me emphasise that those aged 65
or over, especially with respiratory problems, diabetes or heart issues, should
refrain from attending meetings.
we have not yet imposed a blanket suspension on all Lodge activity throughout
the Grand Lodge of Scotland, we do urge our Provincial and District Grand
Masters to use their judgement at a local level and take such local decisions
as are necessary and I have no hesitation in giving dispensation so to do.
will constantly be in touch as and when significant updates are available –
simply to ensure that you all have access to the best possible guidance and
a quick guide, the following recommendations are made for the safety of our
Brethren and their families.
- Members who fall into the “higher risk” category (those over 65 or
with underlying health issues) should not attend meetings.
- Almoners should try to contact higher risk members (not in person)
to check on their welfare.
- Members should refrain from any physical contact at meetings.
- Members who have had close contact with anyone who has had a
cough, fever or breathing difficulties within the last 14 days should not attend
meetings unless that person has subsequently tested negative for coronavirus or
if anyone living in the same house as a member is diagnosed with coronavirus
then that member’s Lodge(s) should cancel all meetings for the next 14 days.
Members have a duty of care to all
other Lodge Members and should immediately report a positive coronavirus
diagnosis to their Lodge Secretary. Likewise, Members also have a duty to
report any symptoms (cough, fever or breathing difficulty) or any close contact
with someone else who has symptoms. Failure to do so puts other members at risk.
Upon receiving such notice, the Lodge should consider cancelling all meetings
for the next 14 days, or longer as may be deemed appropriate.
W Ramsay McGhee
Grand Master Mason