Dear sisters and brothers,
From 7 December, the NSW Government have released further changes for Places of Worship. Further details in relation to these changes and the updated documents have been outlined below:
- COVID19 Safety Plan (new document)
- Signage – Wearing Masks – Singing (new document)
- Safe Return to Church Framework – Cleaning Record
- Fact Sheet – Preparation of Advent Christmas and New Years
- Fact Sheet – Opportunity and Retail Shops – Preparing the Building
Collecting Contact Details
Where contact details are captured manually it is now a requirement to ensure that any paper records are digitalised within 12 hours of the service or activity. After this time any paper copies should be securely destroyed by the Parish. This process is vital in ensuring that we continue to meet out obligations under Public Health orders and ensure that we meet the requirement of providing contact details as soon as possible but within 4 hours of a request from NSW Health.
All Parishes should have set up a QR code for Weddings and Funerals. It is now mandatory that contact details are captured electronically for Weddings and Funerals i.e. through the use of the QR code or other electronic device). In exceptional circumstances where an electronic method is not available for example due to technical limitations or outages, a paper record must continue to be collected and digitised / scanned within 12 hours
If you have not already please confirm that you have made the appropriate changes to your process through to WHS.
Retrieving your QR code
Some Parishes have made contact to advise that they have not received the unique code issued by the NSW Government. You are able to retrieve the QR code here. You will be required to enter the email address that was used to register your site as COVIDSafe. Alternatively you may contact Service NSW on 13 77 88.
Please contact Heidi Randle if you are still experiencing issues after making contact with Service NSW.
Change to Maximum Capacity
From 7 December capacity at a place of public worship or religious gathering must not exceed one visitor per 2 square metres of publicly accessible space. When updating your maximum capacity you must ensure that only public accessible areas are included in the calculation.
Note – Up to 25 people are permitted to enter the building before the 2 square metre rule applies.
There is no change to the requirement for a 1.5m distance to be maintained between non-household contacts.
Please ensure that your maximum capacity signage is updated to reflect this new figure.
Up to 50 people may sing together indoors in a large well-ventilated space. There is no cap in the number of people singing outdoors however in both instances the following measures must be adhered with:
- all singers face forwards and not towards each other;
- 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;
- The audience or congregation may participate in the singing, but anyone 12 years or older must wear a mask while doing this.
New COVID19 Safety Plan
A New COVID19 Safety Plan has been developed – this document has been designed to capture the majority of the Fact Sheets that are currently in place. This document must be read and signed by the Incumbent and Church Warden and stored on site at all times. Providing the building has previously been approved by the Bishop to reopen there is no need to submit a copy of the application to WHS. Where new fact sheets are issued you should continue to print and sign these and store a copy with your COVID19 Safety Plan.
There is no change to the structure of other Parish related activities such as Opportunity Shops, Hall Hire and Child and Youth.
Safe Return to Church Framework – Cleaning Record
This record is currently being utilised across sites that are used by Third Parties. Moving forward this document should be stored on site and completed after each clean by the person authorised to undertake this. A review of this prior to the next use of the building will ensure that the proper clean has been undertaken.
Please ensure that those responsible for undertaking the cleaning are aware of this document.
If you have any questions regarding these changes plaease contact Heidi Randle
With every blessing