6 May 2021
Given a recent outbreak of the COVID-19 virus in Sydney, Bishop Anthony Randazzo advises the following:
The NSW Government has introduced the following measures, effective from midday today, 6 May 2021 (enforceable from 5.00pm) until 12:01am Monday, 10 May for the Greater Sydney region (including Wollongong, Central Coast and Blue Mountains) (https://www.nsw.gov.au/media-releases/covid-19-restrictions-update-6-may)
- visitors to households will be limited to 20 guests – including children
- masks will be compulsory on public transport and in all public indoor venues, such as retail, theatres, hospitals, aged care facilities and for front-of-house hospitality staff (except in a hospitality venue when eating or drinking)
- drinking while standing up at indoor venues will not be allowed
- singing by audiences at indoor shows or by congregants at indoor places of worship will not be allowed
- dancing will not be allowed at indoor hospitality venues or nightclubs however, dancing is allowed at weddings with a strong recommendation that no more than 20 people should be on the dancefloor at any one time
- visitors to aged care facilities will be limited to two people.
To this end Bishop Anthony places before us for the coming weekend:
- Congregational singing should not occur. From the government directive, it seems possible, however, for a cantor or a small choir to sing, provided that they are socially distanced, and it is certainly possible for music, such as an organ or other instruments, to be played. How this might occur will need to be the decision of each parish priest.
- Masks need to be worn by all who are present in the church as has been our experience in the past. Priests or deacons who are presiding may remove their mask whilst engaging in presidential prayers.
- Social gatherings after Mass should be limited to avoid mingling, so as to be careful not to put our most vulnerable at risk.
- We note the restrictions on pastoral visits to aged care facilities.
Please note that there has been no change to the regulations around density: therefore the same number of people currently accommodated in our churches remains unchanged.
We will continue to monitor the situation and will share further details early next week should such be required. COVID-Safe behaviours such as the practice of good hand hygiene and social distancing continue to keep our communities safe.
Our current situation demonstrates the precariousness of our situation and urges us to act for the protection of everyone in our community.