COVID-19


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

6 May 2021

Please find below an update on COVID-19 restrictions coming into force from 12:00pm 6 May until 12.01am Monday, 10 May for the Greater Sydney region (including Wollongong, Central Coast and Blue Mountains).

As part of the restrictions, singing by audiences at indoor shows or by congregants at indoor places of worship will not be allowed and all congregational members will be required to wear masks. Click here to read the full media release

We will provide further updates when they are available.


Letter from NSW Health as we head into Easter (view here)

29 March 2021


Premier’s update on restrictions

25 March 2021

The Minister has signed an exemption to the Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order 2021 in relation to singing at a place of public worship. Under the exemption, in relation to places of public worship:

  • There will be no cap of 30 performers permitted to sing indoors
  • There will be no requirement of 1 person per 4 square metres of space if members of the congregation are singing in an indoor area
  • There will be no mandatory requirement for people to wear a face mask if they are singing indoors in a place of public worship

The exemption commences on 27 March and will be repealed at the beginning of 29 March.

The Premier announced that from 12.01am Monday 29 March 2021, there will be no restrictions on singing including in places of worship.

 

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Changes to Places of Worship & Religious Gatherings

The recent easing of restrictions across NSW has meant changes regarding face masks and the re-introduction of the 2 square metre per person rule for places of worship and religious gatherings.

As a result, the COVID Safety Plans for places of worship have been amended and you will need to update your COVID-19 Safety Plan.

How many people are allowed?

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

Capacity must not exceed one visitor per 2 square metres of publicly accessible space. Children count towards the capacity limit.

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.

NSW Health advice regarding singing and chanting

The Minister has signed an exemption to the Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order 2021 in relation to singing at a place of public worship. Under the exemption, in relation to places of public worship:

  • There will be no cap of 30 performers permitted to sing indoors
  • There will be no requirement of 1 person per 4 square metres of space if members of the congregation are singing in an indoor area
  • There will be no mandatory requirement for people to wear a face mask if they are singing indoors in a place of public worship

The exemption commences on 27 March and will be repealed at the beginning of 29 March.

See NSW Health advice regarding singing and chanting


Face Masks

Updated 25 March 2021

There will be no mandatory requirement for people to wear a face mask if they are singing indoors in a place of public worship

Common questions about the face mask rules 


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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