COVID-19 – Restrictions tightened 17 July
We continue to find ourselves in interesting times as we grapple with the huge impact COVID-19 is having on our individual lives, our families, and our wider communities. We want to thank you for the way you are continuing to lead your communities during this season. We understand that restrictions have just eased and we are now finding ourselves having to take a back-step, with further restrictions being announced. May you know God’s strength are you lead His people at this time!
The NSW Government announced earlier today that they are tightening restrictions in light of the devastating events in Melbourne and an increase in community transmission of COVID-19 across Sydney. NSW is in a state of high alert and these restrictions announced today will come into effect next Friday 24 July 2020. Whilst we have one week to consider how these changes affect our places of worship, we want to encourage you to be adopting these changes in your communities now.
We have prepared a short video update for you following the Government’s latest announcements and how this impacts Public Places of Worship, Funerals and Weddings. The video can be viewed here. In summary these are:
- Weddings can have a maximum of 150 guests, subject to the 4sqm rule per person, which includes the couple, the persons necessary for conducting or assisting in the conduct of the service.
- Funerals and memorial services can have a maximum of 100 people, subject to the 4sqm rule per person, which includes all persons conducting the service.
- Religious services and Public Places of Worship can have a maximum of 100 people, subject to the 4sqm rule, which includes all persons engaged in work on the premises, including children.
The NSW Government has developed a list of the latest COVID-19 cases in NSW and this can be found here: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/latest-news-and-updates. The NSW Health advice also recommends that if anyone has been to Victoria and visited any of the locations outlined on this list should self-isolate for 14 days and monitor for symptoms.
We also want to strongly encourage any churches in these areas to consider how they are gathering as a church community and to think about how they can limit the number of people coming together. In times like this, we need to remember our public witness – we not only want to do the right thing by our church communities and those around us, but we want to be seen doing the right thing and keeping our communities and people safe and preventing the spread of community transmission as much as possible.
Further information will be provided, and updates made to our FAQ page when the Public Health Order is released shortly. We will advise you when these changes have been made.
I trust that God continues to strengthen and carry you through this season.
Rev Ian Altman
Acting Director of Ministries
Baptist Association of NSW & ACT