USE OF KAC BUILDINGS UNDER COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS
From Friday 29 May 2020, the NSW Government has permitted the following (via Public Health Order No 3):
Specific directions – applying to churches (termed places of public worship)
- A wedding service, or gathering immediately after a wedding service, has no more than 20 guests (excl persons being married; persons necessary for the conduct of, or assisting in the conduct of, the marriage; and one photographer and one videographer)
- A funeral or memorial service, or gathering immediately after a funeral service, has no more than 50 persons (excl persons necessary for the conduct of, or assisting in the conduct of, the service, such as minister, funeral directors)
- A religious service has no more than 50 persons (excl the persons necessary for the conduct of, or assisting in the conduct of, the service)
- Premises open for private worship has no more than 50 persons subject to a minimum of 4 m2 per person.
- No limitation on engaging in work on the premises (this is applicable to all businesses)
- An employer must allow an employee to work at the person’s place of residence if it is reasonably practicable to do so
- There must be a COVID-19 safety plan (this is applicable to all businesses)
Places of public worship are not permitted to be open to the public apart from the above permitted uses. The Diocese advises that the NSW Government considers all land and buildings on a church property, indoor and outdoor, as one place of public worship when it comes to how many can gather.
For gatherings above, a schedule of name and contact details of persons participating is to be maintained.
Nothing is said in the Public Health Order about also requiring the 4 m2 rule for (a) – (c) above. It is explicitly required for (d). It is also required for most other types of premises listed in the Order.
The most recent Diocese advice includes:
- Recommend use of 4m2 rule for all gatherings
- 5m distancing expected except for members of same household
- Good hygiene needed – hand washing/sanitizing and cleaning
- Communal areas disinfected/cleaned regularly
- Place of worship is one location regardless of number of rooms ie max of 50 onsite for worship services – can’t have full use of CPC and Christ Church concurrently
- It is possible to have an accompanying morning tea/supper / other meal if you hold a gathering on the church property. Food service must be done hygienically, maintaining social distancing and observing other guidelines. It might be helpful to mark the floor near distribution points with tape at 1.5m spacing.
- If you decide to conduct the Lord’s Supper, do not use the common cup and institute appropriate hygiene measures, e.g., consider using tongs and pre-filled individual communion cups.
- Strong discouragement to have congregational singing. This is the recommendation of NSW Health. Possible to have solo, duet etc provided singers are at least 3m from other people.
- Not to push the definitions of (c) above by having lots of people deemed to be assisting in the conduct of the service. 2-3 is understandable in most parish situations.
- Should not have common use books (eg bibles, prayer books)
- Any gathering must be in accord with (a) to (e) above ie must be either a religious service, private worship, or work on the premises.
- Encouragement to get children and youth activities underway again (considered to be a “religious service”)
The following spaces in KAC guide numbers now and into the future:
|Area m2||Max people at 4m2 spacing|
Current KAC conditions applied
- Conditions for weddings and funerals being applied
- Formal public worship services not yet scheduled
- Conditions for running children and youth groups not yet determined; none scheduled so far; but are now permitted under the religious service heading provided <50.
- Room bookings for groups with a “religious service” context to be made through the office as usual, and office to make sure leader of group is provided with conditions of use. Max of 10 in the group, by invitation.
- Office manager has authority to accept bookings, and if any concern about applicability of conditions to refer to Senior Minister or a warden for resolution
- Hand sanitizer provided on table near front door (Christ Church, CPC and St Paul’s)
- Sign near front door of what is expected of participants of gatherings, incl advice that if they have any flu-like symptoms they should not enter
- Each group to be provided with a sign-in sheet for each gathering
- Group leader provided with advice of what is to be cleaned after the use, and where the cleaning materials are.Leader to sign on attendance sheet after meeting that all conditions have been met and that cleaning has been undertaken
- Attendance sheet to be returned to office for short-term filing.
- These procedures to be reviewed and updated before further relaxation of conditions.
COVID-19 Safety Plan
A safety plan is a new requirement with the latest Public Health Order. A template has been provided and is in draft at the moment. Will need to be regularly updated as new activities start to be possible.
The next to be worked on are the arrangements for when worship and children’s/youth groups are reactivated, and how they are managed under current restrictions.
It is unknown when there might be further relaxation of restrictions.
Senior Minister and Wardens
4 June 2020