MESSAGE TO NSW MINISTERS, HOME MISSIONARIES, SESSION CLERKS, TREASURERS, COM SECRETARIES AND OTHER STAKEHOLDERS.
Please note that these changes relate only to churches in New South Wales, and our colleagues in the ACT will need to continue to refer to ACT Government Public Health directions.
Please do not hesitate to contact Peter Merrick or Jeof Falls should you have any questions or require assistance in interpreting the restrictions to your local circumstances.
Grace and peace,
Jeof Falls and Andrew Campbell (Moderator NSW)
Dear Religious Communities Forum members,
The Minister for Health has signed the Public Health (COVID-19 Temporary Movement and Gathering Restrictions) Order 2021 New restrictions came into effect this evening (Saturday 26 June).
Please see summary advice below from NSW Health:
Greater Sydney (including Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shell Harbour)
In Greater Sydney, places of public worship must not be open, except for the purposes of—
(i) a wedding service, or a gathering following a wedding service, where the gathering takes place before the end of 27 June 2021,
(ii) a funeral or memorial service, or a gathering following a funeral or memorial service, at which there are no more than 100 persons, including the person conducting the service,
(iii) providing educational services or childcare
Other parts of New South Wales
Premises, including places of public worship, are restricted to the greater of
(a) the number of persons that is equivalent to 1 person per 4 square metres of space in the premises, or
(b) 25 persons.
Face masks (‘fitted face coverings’) must we worn by persons aged over 12 years in any indoor area of non-residential premises. Certain exceptions apply.
Singing is not permitted in indoor areas of non-residential premises. The following exceptions apply:
(a) the persons singing are performers engaged in a performance or rehearsing for a performance, or
(b) the premises are an educational establishment, or
(c) the persons are singing for the purpose of instruction in singing.
Further advice from NSW Health is provided below:
Greater Sydney (including Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour)
Across the Greater Sydney area certain venues have been directed to be closed to the public – this includes places of public worship, except for the purposes of conducting a wedding or funeral service – see details below.
Please note – if work cannot be performed from home, leaving home to attend work is a reasonable excuse. This might, for example, include streaming a service (noting that places of worship must not be open to the public).
From 6pm on Saturday 26 June 2021, if you have been in Greater Sydney, including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour for any reason since Monday 21 June 2021, you must follow the stay at home rules and must continue to follow them for 14 days after you were last in Greater Sydney.
If you live in, usually work in, or usually attend a university or other tertiary education facility in Greater Sydney you must also follow the stay at home rules, unless you have not been in Greater Sydney for the last 14 days.
A reasonable excuse to leave home is if you need to
- obtain food or other goods and services
- for the personal needs of the household or for other household purposes (including pets)
- for vulnerable people
- if the food or goods and services are not available in the local government area that you live in
- travel for work or education if it is not possible to do it at home
- exercise and take outdoor recreation in the local government area that you live in
- go out for medical or caring reasons, including obtaining a COVID-19 vaccination
- donate blood
- access childcare
- continue existing arrangements for access to, and contact between, parents and children
- attend a wedding or funeral
- provide care or assistance (including personal care) to a vulnerable person or to provide emergency assistance
- access social services, employment services, services provided to victims (including as victims of crime), domestic violence services, and mental health services
- move to a new place of residence, or between your different places of residence
- undertake legal obligations
- avoid injury or illness or to escape the risk of harm
- in case of emergencies
- for compassionate reasons, including where two people are in a relationship but do not necessarily live together
- to provide pastoral care if you are a priest, minister of religion or member of a religious order.
Weddings in Greater Sydney
Until the end of Sunday 27 June 2021:
Weddings can continue to take place in Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour until the end of 27 June 2021.
Attending a wedding before the end of 27 June 2021 is a reasonable excuse to leave home.
If you live in, usually work in, or usually attend a university or other tertiary education facility in the City of Sydney, Waverley, Woollahra, and Randwick local government areas, you may leave those areas if the wedding is in Greater Sydney and before the end of 27 June 2021.
The 10 person limit to outdoor gatherings does not apply to weddings before the end of 27 June 2021.
From Monday 28 June 2021:
From 28 June 2021 onwards, you will not be able to:
- enter Greater Sydney to hold or attend a wedding
- leave your place of residence to attend a wedding if you live in, usually work in, or usually attend a university or other tertiary education facility in Greater Sydney.
Funerals in Greater Sydney
- Funerals can continue to take place in Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour with up to 100 people.
- Attending a funeral of up to 100 people is a reasonable excuse to leave home and to enter Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour.
The 100 person limit includes persons conducting the service
The requirement to wear a face mask in all indoor areas of non-residential premises that was recently applied in Greater Sydney has been extended to all of NSW.
As well as wearing a face mask in all indoor areas, you must also wear a face mask
- at certain outdoor gatherings
- if you are on public transport
- in a major recreation facility such as a stadium or
- if you are working in a hospitality venue
- at a place of worship.
Outside Greater Sydney
The number of people allowed at a Place of Worship is the greater of—
- (a) the number of persons that is equivalent to 1 person per 4 square metres of space in the premises, or
- (b) 25 persons
Visiting Greater Sydney
A person must not enter Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour without a reasonable excuse.
For the latest information on restrictions please visit the NSW Government website: