Latest COVID information on Churches re-opening
You will be aware of recent changes announced by the Premier in relation to the easing of Covid restrictions. This email summarises the key changes and the approach that will be taken in the Archdiocese of Sydney. But no doubt further updates will be needed in the coming weeks.
Firstly, along with other Faith Groups, we are very grateful that, in her Covid Roadmap announcement, the Premier recognised that for people of faith worship is more like an essential service than a recreation. We now eagerly look forward to the opportunity to gather once more to celebrate our faith and give thanks to God. The re-opening of places of worship will be staged in line with the NSW Government Roadmap. These are the details as we presently understand them.
STAGE ONE – WHEN 70% ARE VACCINATED – ESTIMATED DATE 11 OCTOBER
The first stage commences when 70% of eligible people are fully vaccinated – this is expected to be 11 October. Even though we would be entitled on this date to open churches to the vaccinated only, the Archbishop has decided that we will patiently wait the estimated two further weeks until we reach 80% fully vaccinated before re-opening our churches to the public, and conducting public Masses etc.
STAGE TWO – WHEN 80% ARE FULLY VACCINATED – ESTIMATED DATE 25 OCTOBER
At 80% fully vaccinated we will open our churches and ceremonies to “mixed” congregations (fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated and as yet unvaccinated); the 4 sqm rule will apply, and masks must be worn indoors. We will not be required to check a person’s vaccination status. We will do all that is reasonably possible to keep safe everyone who comes to church: there will be good ventilation, social distancing, hand sanitising, no congregational singing, etc.
STAGE THREE – WHEN 90% ARE EXPECTED TO BE FULLY VACCINATED – 1 DECEMBER 2021
The Government has advised that from 1 December there will be no difference between the Covid safety requirements for all NSW citizens, whether fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated or unvaccinated. The key requirement for churches will be the 2sqm rule at all indoor religious gatherings, including weddings and funerals. There will be no limit on the numbers at outdoor events. Masks will not be required inside a church (though some people may wish to wear a mask for added protection).
There will be further details and clarifications to come out over the next few weeks and we will communicate these with you all. We will also send a communication announcing the opening of the church as the specific date becomes clearer. We greatly look forward to opening the doors of the church again and welcoming you all back. In the meantime please do not hesitate to contact us if you need anything.
Fr Van and Fr Ronnie
I am grateful for this opportunity to welcome newcomers to the parish of St Felix.
I am hoping that you will consider enrolling in our parish and become a member.
A registration Census form can be downloaded and is also provided at the back of the church, please complete the form and return it to the parish office when convenient.