Police have confirmed that they will not investigate a breach of coronavirus rules after around 250 people attended a funeral service.

It comes after the imam who led prayers at the Jamia Ghosia Mosque in Blackburn tested positive for Covid-19 following the funeral on 13 July.

There is a possibility that other attendees may also have been infected at the Janazza prayers.

The mosque advised participants to isolate for seven days or attend a local coronavirus testing station.

The mosque committee had said police and public health officials were investigating the breach of a maximum of 30 people allowed at a funeral.

But Lancashire Police said the case was one for public health officials alone.

The chairman of Jamia Ghosia mosque said they thought there were no restrictions on numbers if hygiene and distancing measures were in place.

Since 4th July, a maximum of 30 people have been allowed at funerals.

Blackburn with Darwen, which has one of the highest infection rates in England, brought in extra restrictions on Tuesday. It said future funeral prayers would be limited to 30 people.

The Lancashire borough has seen a rise in coronavirus cases, centred on terraced houses with a high number of occupants.

Most new cases were among the south Asian community, public health officials said.

For the next month, the area’s 148,000 residents have been told to observe the new rules in a bid to avoid a Leicester-style lockdown.

Blackburn with Darwen council leader Councillor Mohammed Khan said: “I feel it’s my duty to remind residents that sadly at the start of this pandemic, three well known and well respected local Imams died from coronavirus.

“There have been a number of our borough’s residents who have sadly also lost their lives due to this deadly virus.”

He added: “Their sad and untimely deaths should not be in vain and should serve as a warning about the very real dangers and the severity of Covid-19 but also as a very clear reasoning for limiting funeral and wedding guest numbers, as per the government guidance, to a maximum of 30 people.”

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