12 February 2021
From Friday 12 February 2021, the following restrictions are in place for places of pubic worship in the Diocese of Broken Bay;
• Under Public Health Orders, all places of public worship in NSW must complete a COVID-19 Safety Plan for each building used.
o It must be kept up to date as changes occur using the latest template, currently dated 12 February 2021.
• All places of public worship must register as COVID Safe. (You do not need to re-register)
• The place of public worship must ensure that if they are running con-current services, meetings or events on the one property in separate areas or buildings, that the start and finish times do not overlap, to avoid over-crowding and mingling outside.
• All religious services are subject to the 1 person per 2 square metre rule, with no upper cap. This includes indoor and outdoor service, weddings and funerals.
• These numbers exclude staff/essential ministers.
• Children count towards the capacity limit in places of public worship.
• Musicians - A small group of up to 5 people may sing together indoors if:
o all singers face forwards and not towards each other
o have physical distancing of 1.5 metres between each other and any other performers, and 5 metres from all other people including the audience and conductor.
o Ensembles and other musical groups should rehearse and perform outdoors or in large, well-ventilated indoor spaces.
• Masks are no longer mandatory
In relation to hospitality after Masses or other church events in a meeting room or hall:
• a maximum of 100 people are allowed to gather outside for a public gathering.
• Parish Hall and meeting rooms can be used. Capacity is subject to the 1 person per 2 square metre rule, with no upper cap.
o A COVID-19 Safety Plan must be registered specifically for these space. Please refer to the COVID-19 Safety Plan for Community Centres and Halls.
• No buffet food is allowable. People can bring their own food.
In relation to the use of parish bus:
• The courtesy driver (and any assistants) must minimise close contact with passengers
• All passengers and driver must wear a mask unless exempt.
• Ensure social distancing by allocating seats
• Encourage sanitation as passengers enter and exit the bus
• It is important to note, that the majority of parishioners who would avail themselves of such a service, would fit into the vulnerable category and extra care should be taken.
And in relation to record keeping, a place of public worship must:
• Keep a record of the name and contact number or email address of all staff, volunteers, visitors (parishioners) and contractors.
• Hold the record for 28 days in a confidential and secure manner.
• Protect the personal details being collected to avoid disclosure to other visitors
• Ensure records are used only for the purpose of tracing, if required by NSW Health.
• The use of the Services NSW app, along with your QR code associated with your registered COVID Safe Business, is strongly recommended.
• If paper recording is used, records must be entered into an electronic format such as a spreadsheet within 12 hours.
We remind you to stay up to date with all the latest COVID restrictions via the NSW Government website - https://www.nsw.gov.au/form/covid-safety-plan/places-of-worship.