TO MINISTERS, HOME MISSIONARIES, PASTORAL WORKERS, SESSION CLERKS, COM SECRETARIES, TREASURERS AND OTHER STAKHOLDERS
Our new Moderator, Rev. Andrew Campbell, and I participated this afternoon in a NSW Government Religious Communities Forum at which the Premier’s announcement was discussed.
As you will be aware, new NSW COVID-19 restrictions will come into force next Friday, 24 July. We await release of the Public Health Order (PHO), following which we will send a further Update.
Subject to the wording of the Public Health Order, we understand that:
1. The limit of 100 people will relate to the whole of the church premises, which means that we will still be able to meet in different rooms. However, subject to the maximum on the premises not exceeding 1 person per 4 square metres of floor space, we are unsure whether the maximum within each room within the premises will be able to exceed 1 person per 4 square metres. Hopefully, the Public Health Order will make this clear.
2. The maximum of 100 will include children. We are not sure about whether it will include or exclude those leading the church service, and we will need to wait for the PHO.
3. It was emphasised by the NSW Health representative in the Forum that no one who has been in Victoria within the prior 14 days should be allowed in a Place of Workshop and will need to be asked to self-quarantine.
4. She also pleaded for people not to mingle after church services and to please “keep apart while coming together”.
5. Choirs and singing are definitely not allowed.
6. As we have outlined in previous Updates all places of worship and those groups using church premises must:
a. have completed and have publicly available a COVID-19 Safety Plan; and
b. record the contact details of all people on the premises.
7. While 20 visitors can still be invited into private residences, NSW Health recommends limiting visitors to 10 people as a general principle.
We will provide further details when to hand next week.
In the meantime, Andrew and I pray that you and your families have a safe and joy-filled weekend.