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

Judging by the number of queries coming into our offices it’s becoming increasingly difficult for people, congregations, presbyteries and organisations to stay abreast of what is and isn’t permitted.

In a bid to assist you, our Coronavirus Crisis Team has gathered your frequently asked questions and attempted to provide easy answers, saving you from having to pick up a phone or send an email.

The document will be updated weekly, reflecting the rapidly changing nature of the questions we are receiving.

At the bottom of this page you will find links to the current Victorian FAQs and the Tasmanian FAQs. Both are PDFs which can readily be printed out.

It is a requirement that signage be displayed showing the maximum number of people permitted to enter your facility. Our new templates (below) will ensure you remain COVID-compliant.

However, before opening your doors to worship services and other activities, it is vital to consider not only all of the necessary physical requirements but, more importantly, the ministry and mission implications. There are a number of additional factors which every church council should also consider.

We have designed a Recovery Action Plan checklist to assist you in deciding if you are able to be COVID-19 compliant. It should be completed by the church council before making any plans to reopen your doors.

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10 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.

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