Fall 2020 Updates
- In light of the worsening pandemic, all lodge meetings in England have been re-closed effective Thursday 5 November.
- November 16th: The Grand Lodge of Virginia has required masks in all masonic buildings and limited gatherings to 25 or less to match state law, and has cancelled One-Day Conferrals
- The Masonic Temple in Philadelphia will be closed until January 2021, per the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania
Summer 2020 (Mid-Pandemic)
UPDATE August 8 2020. Some jurisdictions are opening, but others are closing for a second time. This post is cataloguing the gradual re-opening of Grand Lodges.
March 2020 News (Pandemic Outbreak)
This is a list of announcements from across the world on the prevailing jurisdictional advice. As this is rapidly developing, please comment on the bottom with anything missing or erroneous. This twitter thread may also be used to provide feedback.
This page started on the morning of March 13th.
March 17th update: many jurisdictions have tightened their policies and shut events down over this 4 day period, but updates continue to roll in, and will be kept here.
March 19th update: status updates are slowing down; partially because so many jurisdictions have closed up shop already. I will continue to update information as I receive it, so don’t hesitate to reach out. Some jurisdictions which had previously closed through some date are updating to lengthen the closures. Chris Hodapp’s blog has more coverage on the masonic community aspects of this.
- Belgium: all lodges are advised to suspend meetings until April 30.
- Denmark: all meetings suspended
- England (UGLE) & Many Others: (March 20) practicing ritual through the Internet is permitted (the spoken parts only, not choreography). (March 17) all Lodge and Chapter meetings in England & Wales are suspended for four months. (March 13) advises against 65 and older members from attending lodge, and strongly advises that meetings over 100 people should not take place. Freemason’s hall will be closed and tours will cease.
- Finland: (not confirmed) meetings suspended
- France: (March 13) all the major French Masonic obediences have, in concert, taken the decision to suspend all their activities and to close their temples until further notice; reference in the comments. (Grande Loge Nationale Française) suspended all activities until end of April. It is said (but needs confirmation) that non-regular French Masonic bodies have taken similar actions.
- Greece: (not confirmed) meetings suspended
- Ireland: (March 18) all meetings suspended until August 31st. (March 13) suspended all meetings through March 29
- Italy: has suspended conventions and conferences that were to take place after 3 April, for instance the Gran Loggia 2020 e l’Assemblea dei Maestri Venerabili.
- Netherlands: all lodge activities suspended until April 1st.
- Norway: all meetings suspended
- Romania: (alleged not confirmed) meetings suspended
- Scotland: (March 17) All masonic activity suspended until further notice. GL site reference.
- Spain: suspended all meetings until April 30th.
- Sweden: (March 20) The Grand Master of the Swedish Order of Freemasons ordered all activities to close with immediate effect Wednesday last week until April 23rd. Today he prolonged the shut down until August 1st. (March 15) all meetings suspended
Each state’s line refers to the Grand Lodge guidance for that state.
Most references go to official Grand Lodge sites & communications, but some references are to internet comments where that is the best available source of information. If you see something erroneous or have a better reference, please contribute.
- Alabama: (March 14) the Grand Lodge will support any WM that wishes to suspend activities. Normal activities will resume when the national state of emergency is called off.
- Alaska: (March 15) – no information available or locatable. The Facebook group says that an announcement is coming this weekend.
- Arizona: (March 15) only stated meetings are allowed, everything else is cancelled. Stated meetings to be kept to a minimum of time, and can be cancelled. (March 13) lodges will continue to meet, but should avoid handshakes.
- Arkansas: (March 19) extended through April 20th. (March 13) suspended all Masonic activities until March 30
- California: (March 18) no Masonic gatherings in the state until further notice by the GM. (March 15) the GL has made no specific recommendation to lodges, but some lodges are cancelling events.
- Colorado: lodges may cancel their meetings at the WM’s discretion.
- Connecticut: (March 27) The annual communication is cancelled. (March 17) certain sessions are cancelled. Alternative plans for the Grand Communication are under deliberation. the governor of the state has mandated no meetings of more than 250 people, and the GL is deliberating its decision. A special dispensation is available that allows WMs to cancel meetings.
- Delaware: (March 17) Activities cancelled until April 30th.
- District of Columbia (DC): on their website, business as usual. Update March 12: GL activity suspended until April 1st. Lodges are left to their own decisions.
- Florida: (March 18th) official statement. Second reference. (March 17) all masonic meetings suspended until May 4th, at least. (March 13) closures are permitted without dispensation. Second reference. (July 31) ordered that lodges and Masonic events in the 26th and 27th Masonic Districts (Broward and Miami-Dade counties) be suspended until further notice due to an increase of cases of COVID-19
- Georgia: (March 24) all face to face meetings are suspended until April 30th. (March 17) lodges may meet at their own discretion, and the GL waives the requirement to meet monthly
- Hawaii: (March 15th) GM events have been cancelled, lodges may call off stated communications at their discretion.
- Idaho: (March 20th) as an exception to the previous statement, Masonic funerals may be conducted under certain conditions. (March 17) all masonic activity suspended – no until date provided.
- Illinois: (March 19) all masonic events cancelled through May 1. (March 13) all activities suspended until May 1. Official statement here.
- Indiana: (March 13) suspended all activity until the end of April – previously, (March 10) general health advisory issued, no policy change on events & meetings. Facebook post: “no need to cancel meetings“. Brothers whispering counsel suggest they may suspend all activities shortly, but this is not confirmed.
- Iowa: (March 17th) expansion of previous message, indicating lodges may continue to operate. (March 16) certain Grand Lodge events are cancelled.
- Kansas: (March 21) all Masonic activities suspended until further notice. (March 13) the GL communication will go forward in a new location, limiting attendance. Lodges have 60 day permission to suspend meetings. Copy of the notice.
- Kentucky: (March 16) all degree work suspended through April 15th. (March 13) ordered the 5 district meetings scheduled in March to be postponed to a date to be determined later. Stated and called meetings have been left to the discretion of the Masters of their respective lodges through the end of March
- Louisiana: (March 16) all lodge meetings suspended through April 5th. (March 9) general health advisory issued, let us err on the side of caution.
- Maryland: (March 16) all Masonic activities will cease until May 1. (March 12) most activities postponed, all Grand Lodge activities postponed until May 31. Lodges should limit to one gathering per month.
- Massachusetts: (March 16) all upcoming events of 25+ are cancelled or postponed to be in line with state guidance. (March 13) lodges should check on their members’ well-being. (March 11) some GL activities had been cancelled, but as of March 11 they have resumed. (Older cancellation announcement here)
- Maine: (March 15) meetings are suspended and election of GL officers is to be done by mail. (March 5) all activities can continue as scheduled, handshakes may be avoided, and take basic health precautions.
- Michigan: (March 16) events cancelled through the end of April. (March 13). Cancellation is at the WM’s discretion, many GL activities have been cancelled. Further statement from the GM: “A message of optimism for our craft and our future”.
- Michigan 2: (March 16) joint statement between the MW Prince Hall GL and the GM of F&AM in Michigan. GLs will collaborate to ask after the health of the most at-risk brethren.
- Missouri: (March 13) All GL activities are suspended until further notice. (March 12) cancellation is at the WM’s discretion.
- Minnesota: (March 18) all lodge activities cancelled through April 3rd. (March 12) individual lodges should decide whether to reschedule their meetings or not, precautions should be taken.
- Mississippi: (March 16) lodges that want to cancel meetings will be granted dispensations but it is not required. (March 10) a general health advisory and guidance has been issued, with no changes to meetings or policy.
- Montana: (March 16) all lodge activity suspended through the end of April.
- Nebraska: (March 16) all lodge activities cancelled until May 1. (March 13) GL events have been cancelled, lodge events are left at the discretion of the WM.
- New Hampshire: (March 27) all in-person Masonic events are cancelled until May 4. (March 23) all masonic meetings to have ten or fewer attendees. (March 16) lodges may cancel stated meetings if they wish. (March 11) the GM advises caution, lodges are operating as usual.
- New Jersey: (March 13) all activities cancelled through March 31. (March 12) big events are cancelled, lodges are advised to use their heads.
- New York: (March 17th) Grand Master’s Video Statement (March 12) continuing as planned, with recommended precautions. The GM is allowing WMs the option of no-handshake meetings.
- North Carolina: (March 16) all masonic meetings cancelled until further notice. (March 12) lodges are to abide by the governor’s declared state of emergency and should limit large gatherings.
- North Dakota: (March 17) All masonic functions should have fewer than 50 people, and lodges may cancel stated meetings if they wish.
- Ohio: (March 16) activities suspended until May 10. (March 12) all Masonic events of 100 are more are cancelled effective immediately. Facebook post.
- Oklahoma: (March 17th) All masonic activities suspended until April 10. (March 14) Lodges may suspend meetings. Continue to take precautions. (March 13) take extra precautions and be safe. No further cancellations
- Oklahoma (MW Prince Hall GL): (March 17th). All nonessential Masonic meetings are cancelled until April 15th.
- Oregon: (March 14) all activities suspended through March 31
- Pennsylvania: (March 12) All blue lodge activity suspended. Previously, general health guidance has been issued, “there is no need to cancel lodge meetings”.
- South Carolina (March 16) all masonic meetings are suspended for the month of March only. (March 14). Grand Communication in April is not cancelled. Social distancing is recommended. Lodges will not be penalized for closing until government mandates are discontinued.
- South Dakota: (March 18) all lodge activity cancelled until further notice.
- Tennessee: (March 13) general health best practices published, handshakes are discouraged.
- Texas: (March 21) all Masonic activities cancelled until further notice. (March 18) same as on March 15th, but revised down to 10, not 50. (March 17) first Texas fatality from coronavirus was a Masonic home resident. (March 15) all gatherings of more than 50 are cancelled – this is not a blanket suspension of Masonic activity. (March 10) the GM issued a safety warning, but it has not been publicly posted. Second reference from Facebook.
- Utah: (March 16) no masonic gatherings may be held unless otherwise directed. (March 10) GM has issued a statement, it is each member’s decision whether to stay home. Stay home if you feel sick.
- Vermont: (March 16) suspended all Masonic Activities until at least April 15th, 2020. Grand Lodge will re-assess in early April. Reference in the comments of this page.
- Virginia: (March 23) publication on what brothers can do to help. (March 16) All stated communications cancelled until April 30th (March 13) all called work is suspended until April 30. (March 12) cancelled district leadership activities and has sent advice out to lodges. Lodges are permitted to conduct meetings without handshakes.
- Washington: (March 12) All masonic events cancelled effective immediately.
- Wisconsin: (March 13) all events and meetings suspended until further notice.
- Wyoming (March 17) all Masonic meetings are cancelled until April 30th.
- Alberta: (March 18th). All activities cancelled until April 14th. (March 17th) the GL is closed until April 14th at the earliest. All lodge activities are cancelled. Local lodge closures, no available GL statement.
- Nova Scotia: (March 14) all provincial lodge meetings have been cancelled.
- Ontario: (April 1) all activities cancelled until at least June 1st. (March 13) — activities cancelled (official statement here) Previously — (March 12) left up to individual lodges what to do. Shaking hands is not mandated and can be avoided.
- Saskatchewan: (March 13) All meetings suspended until further notice.
- Quebec: (March 12) all lodges have the right to cancel open lodge in March. No official reference available yet, but here is a snippet of the language.
- Baja: (March 18) decisions left to local lodges, but most have suspended.
- Grand Lodge Valle de México: (March 18) suspended activities.
- Veracruz: (March 17) Gran Logia Unida Mexicana statement.
- Argentina: (March 14) Grand Lodge of Argentina of Free and Accepted Masons determined to suspend all its activities from yesterday, March 13th, to April 13th, all over our territory
- Brazil: await the decision of federal health officials, and proceed with caution. The Grand Orient of Brazil’s statement is here (in Portugese). Please report any translation errors.
- Brazil (Various locations): (March 16) Grand Lodge of Bahia, Grand Orient of Brazil in Mato Grosso, Santa Catarina (Grand Lodge, Grand Orient of Brazil and Independent Grand Orient), São Paulo (Grand orient of Brazil and Grand Lodge). Left up to individual lodges what to do for 30 days.
- Brazil (Rio de Janeiro): (March 16) Left up to individual lodges what to do for 45 days
- Brazil (Federal District): (March 16) – suspended all activities for 30 days.
Further Brazil updates in Portuguese can be found on this blog.
- Hong Kong: Scottish district has cancelled official visits but left meetings to lodge discretion.
- India: (March 14) all meetings suspended indefinitely. Second reference.
- Korea: All lodge meetings cancelled going forward as of three weeks ago.
- Philippines: (March 17) all masonic activities cancelled. Summary of the circular is available, but the PDF of the circular is not.
- Turkey: (March 14) suspended all meetings until July 13th, 2020. (Submitted by comment on the post)
- Singapore: Provincial Grand Lodge of Southeast Asia: (Under the GL of Ireland) (March 22) suspension of activities is extended until June 30. (March 19) all masonic meetings suspended until end of June 2020.
Australia & New Zealand
- New Zealand: lodges may decide on meetings themselves, but members should refrain from physical contact or postpone ceremonies.
- United Grand Lodge of South Australia: no information available.
- United Grand Lodge of Victoria: (March 17) all masonic meetings are cancelled until May 31. (Requires MyFreemasonry login)
- UGL Queensland: (March 14) cancelled GL quarterly communication & grand officer visitations; prudence is recommended to lodges.
- South Australia and the Northern Territory: (March 17) board has recommended to the GM that all craft meetings cease until 30th of June. (March 15) the interstate delegation to the GL of Victoria has been cancelled. More information to be forthcoming.
- UGL of NSW & ACT: (March 17) district and regional meetings will not be conducted. Lodge meetings are at the discretion of the Lodge, precautions are advised.
- Great Priory of South Australia: (March 19) meetings are suspended and grand installation is deferred.
Other Masonic Bodies
- Grand Council, Allied Masonic Degrees: (March 16) AMD councils are to a minimum follow the policies of their Grand Lodge and civil Authority. (March 13) Those over 65 should not attend council meetings through April. (Facebook link, members only)
- Scottish Rite Northern Masonic District: (March 13) consider your options carefully, and stay home if you feel sick.
- Scottish Rite Texas Orient: (March 23) Spring Reunions are cancelled, other meetings are cancelled until at least April 30th.