COVID-19


ADVICE NSW GOVERNMENT TO ALL NSW RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES, CHARITIES AND PLACES OF WORSHIP  

Premier’s update on restrictions

2 January 2021

Read the latest update on COVID-19 restrictions.

What rules apply to:

QUICK FINDER MENU



Changes to Places of Worship & Religious Gatherings

How many people are allowed?

Full details are provided in the physical distancing section of the COVID-19 Safety Plan.

Capacity in regions outside of Greater Sydney must not exceed one visitor per 2 square metres of publicly accessible space.

In Greater Sydney, capacity at a place of public worship or indoor religious gathering must not exceed 100 visitors, OR one visitor per 4 square metres of publicly accessible space, whichever is less.

Children count towards the capacity limit.

Note: ‘Greater Sydney’ means Greater Sydney as defined by the Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order (No 7) 2020.


Services can be streamed or recorded to enable people to engage in worship.

People attending a religious service will be required to provide their name and contact details when they enter so that they can be used for contact tracing.

Develop a COVID-19 Safety Plan for your church, meeting house, mosque, synagogue, temple or another place of worship to help your community connect safely.


Face Masks

Face masks are mandatory in certain premises in Greater Sydney

Effective 3 January 2021

In Greater Sydney (including Wollongong, Central Coast and Blue Mountains) face masks are mandatory in the following indoor settings:

  • shopping (retail, supermarkets and shopping centres)
  • on public/shared transport and waiting areas for public/shared transport
  • indoor entertainment (including cinemas and theatres)
  • places of worship
  • hair and beauty premises
  • visiting an aged care facility.

Face masks are also mandatory for all staff in hospitality venues, gaming areas in licensed premises (including casinos) and for patrons using gaming services.

Compliance will start from Monday 4 January 2021 with $200 on the spot fines for individuals for non-compliance.

Children under 12 are exempt but are encouraged to wear masks where practicable.


QR Codes for COVID Safe Places of Worship

Updated 3 January 2021

NSW Health strongly encourages places of worship to use the Service NSW App and QR Codes to help you with COVID Safe contactless record keeping.

The relevant information can be found here:

https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/covid-safe/customer-record-keeping/qr-codes#covid-safe-check-in-with-the-service-nsw-app

While the use of QR Codes is not mandatory for places of worship at this time, the link above provides simple instructions to help familiarise yourselves with the system.

Customers will need to have the Service NSW app installed on their mobile to record their visit.

Businesses need to ensure that they have measures in place that will accurately capture customer and staff details.

It makes the check in seamless by sending accurate customer information directly to Service NSW. This means the data does not have to be stored by the business and it is readily available for NSW Health to access if it becomes necessary. 

COVID Safe Check-in is available to all businesses in NSW and is provided as part of the COVID Safe registration pack.

How to get your COVID Safe Check-in QR code

Businesses who have already registered as COVID Safe will be emailed their unique QR code.

Registered businesses and organisations can also access or recover QR codes from their business resources page. The resources also include the online concierge check-in form and COVID Safe signage and posters.

Businesses and organisations will need the email they registered with to access the business resources page

How customers use the COVID Safe Check-in

  1. When a customer arrives at a venue, they scan the QR code with their smartphone.
  2. Customers who have the Service NSW app installed will be taken to the check in.
    Customers who don’t have the Service NSW app installed will get two options:
    • download the Service NSW app, create an account and check in
    • check in using an online form.
  3. A staff member may check the successful sign in on the customer’s phone. 

Setting up your own QR code check in 

  1. Businesses can find their own QR code guest registration service by searching online or asking their IT services provider for advice. Read the terms and conditions carefully, paying particular attention to:
    • pricing and payment details
    • privacy policies
    • length of contract and how to cancel the service
    • how the data is stored and how you can access it when required – data must be stored securely onshore in Australia
  2. Sign up with a service and download the unique QR code.
  3. Display the code at the entrance to the venue so customers can access it easily. A staff member or COVID-19 Safe Hygiene Marshal should be nearby to assist customers and confirm they have checked in.
  4. If any customers are unable to use the QR code, businesses should have an alternative check in method available, such as an SMS service or the online check-in form provided as part of business resources for COVID Safe registered businesses.

Places of Worship Safety Plan


Develop a COVID-19 Safety Plan for your church, meeting house, mosque, synagogue, temple or another place of worship to help your community connect safely.

We would like to reiterate the current advice from NSW Health regarding hygiene and cleaning:

  • Adopt good hand hygiene practices.
  • Ensure bathrooms are well stocked with hand soap and paper towels or hand dryers.
  • Consider modifying religious rites or rituals to avoid direct contact where practical. Where this is not practical, ensure hands are washed before and after each interaction with soap and water or hand sanitiser.
  • Avoid sharing books, drinking cups or other shared objects used during the service such as collection plates. Also consider putting barriers around frequently touched objects of worship, such as shrines, relics or fonts, to prevent people frequently touching these.
  • Clean frequently used indoor hard surface areas (including children’s play areas) at least daily with detergent or disinfectant. Clean frequently touched areas and surfaces several times per day.
  • Disinfectant solutions need to be maintained at an appropriate strength and used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Staff are to wear gloves when cleaning and wash hands thoroughly before and after with soap and water.

Detailed health advice for places of worship including a checklist and COVID-19 safety plan can be found here.


Updated information and advice about COVID-19 in NSW, see nsw.gov.au/covid-19 and to access translated materials follow this link.

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