COVID-19 Update #4

Further to our communication to all Ministers and Session Clerks last night, the Prime Minister The Hon. Scott Morrison MP has announced this morning a ban on non-essential gatherings of 100 or more people indoors.  States and Territories will be tasked with implementing the restrictions on social gatherings under public health legislation.

The following areas are exempt from the 100 person ban: airports, stations, platforms, stops, trains, trams, buses, medical and health service facilities, emergency service facilities, disability or aged care facilities, correctional facilities, youth justice centres or other places of custody, courts or tribunals, parliaments, food markets, supermarkets, grocery store, retail stores, shopping centres, office buildings, factories, construction sites, mining sites and other workplaces necessary for their normal operation.

Education facilities including schools, universities, and childcare facilities will also be exempt from the 100-person indoor ban.  However, the government has advised schools to avoid groups of this size wherever possible.

The government is also urging schools to remain open, although several independent Boarding Schools have announced in the past few days that they will be closing.  This includes PLC Croydon, which has announced its closure today.

Arising from the Prime Minister’s ban on gatherings of 100 or more people, we ask all churches to immediately review their services to conform with that ban.

We are aware that several churches with fewer than 100 attending Sunday service have also resolved to suspend their services.  As the Minister together with Session are responsible for public worship, we advise smaller congregations to be wise about whether they choose to meet.

In either case, please advise Jeof Falls on if your congregation closes.  We will provide information on the number of closures in our next Update.

Thank you, and our prayers are with you and your congregations at this difficult time.

Grace and peace,
Rev Richard Keith, NSW Moderator
Jeoffrey R Falls, General Manager, Chief Executive Officer