Diocesan Covid Update 27 & 28 July 2021
Dear brothers and sisters
Easing of restrictions in Victoria (Australia) from midnight tonight
Church services can have 100 people indoors, subject to 4sqm rule. COVID check-in marshals are required to ensure everyone checks in using QR codes or a kiosk. For churches under 100sqm, up to 25 people can attend a service without the 4sqm rule applying. An outdoor service can have 300 people attending.
Refreshments before or after services can occur, served in COVID-safe ways, maintaining the 4sqm rule in the spaces for refreshments.
Weddings can have 50 people, subject to 4sqm rule, including the couple and witnesses, but the celebrant and photographer are in addition. COVID check-in marshals are required to ensure everyone checks in using QR codes or a kiosk.
Funerals can have 50 mourners, subject to 4sqm rule, plus those essential to conduct the service. COVID check-in marshals are required to ensure everyone checks in using QR codes or a kiosk.
Masks must be worn indoors and outdoors apart from one person leading/singing/preaching at one time.
No meetings or groups can meet in private homes. Meetings and groups in church facilities can occur, with a maximum of 100 people overall, subject to 4sqm rule, with a maximum group size of 10. This includes children’s and youth groups. COVID check- in marshals are required to ensure everyone checks in using QR codes or a kiosk.
Op shops can open, subject to 4sqm rule. Op shops under 100 sqm can have up to 25 people in attendance. QR codes or kiosk must be used but a COVID check-in marshal is not required.
Up to 10 people can work in church offices, subject to 4sqm rule, but please work from home if you can.
Group sizes. At a meeting late on Tuesday with health officials and a government minister, we were able to clarify that choirs, youth or children’s groups, Bible study groups, Parish Council meetings, etc, are not limited by the maximum of 10 for a group. However, masks, 4sqm and QR codes and COVID check-in marshal all apply. So, a youth group, etc, of 20 does not need to separate into two groups of 10, a Parish Council can meet even if there are more than 10 people present, subject to 4sqm rule. Note that this does not include purely social groups and we cannot host indoor family events, friends’ gatherings, birthdays, etc.
The website for the diocesan COVID pages is here.
Grace and peace in Christ Jesus
Philip Freier (Archbishop of Melbourne)