NSW Chief Health officer calls for churches to register as COVID safe

NSW Chief Health officer calls for churches to register as COVID safe

The NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant (pictured above) has sent a letter to church groups, calling on them to register with the NSW Government as being COVID safe.

The letter draws attention to the government’s requirements for places of worship, to ensure that they are not transmitting the virus.

“Group singing or chanting is particularly high risk and should not take place at this time,” the letter said.

“This applies to both the congregation and the choir.”

The Public Health Order was amended and requires high-risk settings for transmission, such as places of worship, to register themselves as COVID-Safe with the NSW Government, and to comply with a COVID-19 Safety Plan.

“Places of worship must ensure that the maximum number of persons on the premises does not exceed 100 people or one person per four square metres of space (excluding staff), whichever is the lesser.”

The Uniting Church NSW and ACT Synod requires congregations to also send the Synod their COVID-Safe plan, which includes an outline of the planned activity and measures that they are putting in place to ensure that they do not transmit the virus. These measures include social distancing, use of hand sanitiser, and recording attendance.

Insights recently spoke to a number of congregations about how they will protect their members from the virus when they resume in-person worship.

This information was reiterated by Dr Chant amid NSW Health closely monitoring a number of new clusters in NSW this week and the increasing number of community transmissions of COVID-19 in Victoria.

  • Download the full statement to Church leaders from the NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant here.
  • For further information on the requirements for places of worship, view the industry guidelines here.

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