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

VICTORIA:

  • As of 11.59pm on Friday, April 22, masks are no longer required in primary schools, early childhood settings, retail, and public events such as worship. However, masks are still required when visiting hospitals, medical or care facilities, on public transport, in taxis or rideshare vehicles, and in airports. People who have tested positive, or who are awaiting a test result, are still required to wear masks when outside the home.
  • QR Code check-ins at venues are no longer required. Venues are no longer required to keep attendance records in any format.
  • All venues and workplaces, including churches, must continue to maintain a COVID-safe plan.
  • Vaccination status requirements still exist for paid and unpaid workers (including religious workers) to attend any workplace outside the home.
  • Patrons are no longer required to have two doses or show their vaccination status before entering any venue.
  • Close contacts no longer have to quarantine for seven days, provided they wear a mask indoors and avoid high-risk settings. They must also return at least five negative rapid antigen tests over seven days.
  • A full list of current Victorian restrictions and guidance is available in the VIC FAQ document below.

TASMANIA:

  • From 12:01am Monday May 2, 2022 close contacts of COVID cases in Tasmania will no longer need to quarantine for seven days, but will still be required to follow a range of public health measures.
  • COVID-safe plans are still required to be maintained by all venues, including churches.
  • Check in TAS is no longer required at churches or community halls.  Check in TAS app is only required to be used specified venues including pubs, clubs, night clubs, licensed or permit premises, gaming and gambling locations.
  • Face masks are no longer required for retail customers or customers at seated cafes or restaurants, but staff are still required to wear masks. Face masks are no longer required in offices, but businesses should refer to their COVID-safe plans.
  • Seated religious gatherings, including weddings and funerals held in places of worship may have up to 250 people in attendance, with no density quotients. In unseated areas a density quotient of 1 person per 2sqm applies.
  • Positive Rapid Antigen Tests must now be registered with the Health Department as soon as possible in order to be able to access support services.
  • A full list of current Tasmanian restrictions and guidance is available in the TAS FAQ document below.

Updated Documents:

Please note that the CHURCH FACILITIES RE-OPENING CHECKLIST and the RECOVERY ACTION PLAN CHECKLIST (below) have been updated to reflect the recent changes to Covid restrictions in Victoria and Tasmania.  Congregations which have been relying on these checklists to remain Covid-safe should download the latest versions.

 

Related documents

 

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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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