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All you need to know: answers to your frequently asked questions

Since the easing of many restrictions on November 18, 2021 Victorians are faced with ‘learning to live with COVID-19’, but what are the implications for our church?  The current Victoria Frequently Asked Questions now includes a section to help communities navigate this new environment. 

The Victorian Government has also released an updated COVID cleaning guide as of Nov 25 with greatly reduced requirements. (download a copy below)

The Victorian FAQs are intended as a guide for Church Councils and anyone planning to attend any church gathering.

  • Capacity limits and density quotients removed for religious gatherings, weddings and funerals where all attendees over 12yrs and 2mths are fully-vaccinated.
  • Masks are now only required indoors in limited settings such as health care, retail, schools and on public transport. Masks still recommended if you can’t remain physically distant, if you have symptoms, or are in a high-risk category.
  • No limits on the number of people who may gather in private residences or public places.
  • Non-essential retail reopens to the fully-vaccinated.
  • Workplaces can open. All staff must be fully-vaccinated.

Maximum capacities and density quotients now apply only where the vaccination status of all attendees is unknown or unchecked.

In November, Moderator Denise Liersch held a forum titled Navigating The Road Ahead, which invited members from both sides of the vaccination debate to speak freely and help forge a path ahead that considered all perspectives. For further information and pastoral resources visit our Vaccination and Reopening page.

 

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13 Comments

  1. […] The Uniting Church Synod has put together a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the COVID 19 restrictions and what congregations are able to do.  You can find this information here. […]

  2. […] For updated information, please check The Vic/Tas UCA Synod Covid-19 site […]

  3. Rosemary Carter on May 28, 2020 at 6:07 pm

    Thanks for trying to keep us updated about COVID-19 and worship gatherings etc. It would be helpful, however, if you included the changes in numbers that have been announced for June 1 in Victoria. This is increasing to 20 people plus those necessary for the conduct of the worship – 4sqm space permitting. Church Councils and congregation leaders will need to know this to be able to prepare their spaces, as for some congregations it may actually be possible for them to recommence worship together. The information received today only indicates that it will change on June 1 in VIC and June 15 in TAS but not to what!

  4. Ian Phillips on June 5, 2020 at 8:09 am

    Regarding the COVID-19 FAQ released on 04 June – Please note the typo on page 2, column 1. The updated ‘Gatherings’ information refers to the maximum allowable number of people in paragraph 3 as 20, but the first paragraph in the italicised block points at the bottom of the column still refers to 10 people. Other references through the document appear to be correct as these all state 20 people.

  5. David Morgan on June 5, 2020 at 10:11 am

    The June 4 edition on page 3 requires 4sqm per person in private homes.
    DHHS at https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/social-gatherings-covid-19#how-many-visitors-can-i-have-to-my-housenbsp
    does not include the 4sqm. (Below) Did I miss something on DHHS or did you miss the change among all the others n June 1.
    Thanks,
    David Morgan

    How many visitors can I have to my house?
    Under new arrangements that will come into effect at 11.59pm on Sunday, 31 May, you can have up to 20 people in your home at any one time, including those who normally live with you in the household. Children are counted in the total person limit.
    For example, if you are a household of five people, you can 15 visitors.
    If you are visiting someone’s home, you should ensure appropriate physical distancing by keeping at least 1.5 metres between you and others who are not from your household and practise good hygiene. If you or your friends, family or partner are feeling unwell you should not visit anyone or have visitors at your home.

    Victorians are being asked to use common sense when it comes to visiting friends and family, especially those who are more vulnerable. That means seeing those you need to – if you need to.

  6. Rob Jackson on June 11, 2020 at 3:25 pm

    HOT TIP: Preferably use the “Download” link within the “Related Documents” box to access the latest version of the FAQs.
    The “Click Here”s within the opening text may inadvertently point to previous issues (like they are currently doing)

  7. Annette Buckley on June 22, 2020 at 12:47 pm

    Hello,
    Thanks for helping us with these updates.
    It would be helpful if you could include the definition of ‘publicly accessible floor space’ for congregations to consider when measuring their worship spaces. The latest information from DHHS says “Note: the density quotient, also referred to as the ‘four square metre rule’ is to be calculated by measuring the area which the members of the public can access, such as the table area in a restaurant, but not the food preparation area or in a store room.” My understanding of this is that if a church building measures 100 x 100, but the front 20m is not used by the congregation, but taken up by the pulpit/organ/communion table, it is not part of the publicly accessible floor space. The publicly available space is 80 x 100. I think the FAQs lead to the impression that you just need to measure the space contained by the walls. Please could you clarify this?
    thanks, Annette

  8. […] weekly update can be found on the Synod Website here and is updated every Thursday.  There is a pastoral letter for the moderator at the beginning of […]

  9. David Morgan on June 29, 2020 at 7:59 pm

    Nominations and elections for Church Council are coming up soon. Are there approved procedures for this without a physical meeting of the congregation?

  10. Don Campbell on July 23, 2020 at 2:14 pm

    Thanks for your great information and tables, etc.
    Could you please design a Mask Poster to display at our shared premises – you must/should (and how to wear perhaps).
    BTW, based on the Government Directives the number who can attend a essential support group still remains the lesser of 20 or the spatial/density quotient. This has not changed for a couple of months, however your Victorian FAQ shows 10 instead. The rest of your information is great and accurate.

  11. Annette Buckley on January 21, 2021 at 8:10 pm

    HI. It appears that the link for the current Victorian FAQs actually downloads the January 04 version. It has the old information about face masks being mandatory in all public indoor spaces.

  12. Trang Vo on September 30, 2021 at 10:56 am

    Hello. I wonder whether the Synod has conversations about the necessity of imposing a double vaccination or not before gathering in church? Many church members have indicated this question.

  13. David Morgan on November 19, 2021 at 3:38 pm

    “Masks still recommended if you can’t remain physically distant, if you have symptoms, or are in a high-risk category.” needs to be changed.
    If you have symptoms, get a test and isolate until receiving a negative test. Wearing a mask is not good enough.

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