VICTORIA COVID Safe Summer Phase
As of 7th December 2020
All people must carry a face covering when they leave home unless they have a lawful reason not to. Whilst it is not mandatory to wear a face covering indoors or outdoors (apart from large retail venues, busy walkways and public transport), it is strongly recommended that people wear a face covering if the 1.5m personal distancing cannot be maintained.
Under no circumstances should anyone awaiting a COVID-19 test verification, including Clergy (even without presenting symptoms) attend a church or parish setting until a diagnosis is confirmed. Additionally, under no circumstances should anyone attend who is closely connected to people who are awaiting test results or who have tested positive.
For the time being, all Catholics in Melbourne continue to be dispensed from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass until further directed by the Archbishop.
- All places of worship including churches, adoration chapels and other church buildings used for public prayer and religious services may open for permitted religious ceremonies.
- Religious gatherings can be held indoors or outdoors. Venues must apply the 1 person per two square metre rule to ensure people have enough room to maintain 1.5 metres distance between them. There are no group limits;
- The two square metre rule can be used only if electronic record keeping is used, otherwise, the four square metre rule must apply. The square metre rule doesn’t include babies under 12 months of age;
- Record Keeping is still required for all attendees beyond a 15-minute visit – and must include: First Name + Contact Number + date and time at which the person attended the place of worship. Records must be kept for 28 days;
- People must carry a face covering at all times. If a distance of 1.5m cannot be maintained, either indoors or outdoors, then face coverings must be worn (unless they are people that live with each other, or have a lawful reason, or are children under 12 years of age).
- Face coverings are no longer mandatory. However, they are required if the distancing measures of 1.5m cannot be maintained between people. We must also be respectful of those who ‘want’ to wear them.
- Hygiene precautions must continue to be maintained throughout;
- Doors must remain closed to prevent public access if there is no-one available to ensure that particular number limits are maintained;
- As people may not be wearing masks, egress must be carefully planned. If doorways encourage people to be in close proximity to each other, or to gather in some way prior or after worship or prayer, separate entrance and exits must be maintained.
- A place of worship can have indoor or outdoor religious gatherings at the same time. Ceremonial participants other than faith leaders are included in the two square metre rule only if electronic record keeping is used. Otherwise, the four square metre rule applies;
- Places of worship can continue to be open for essential public support services. Essential public support services include food banks, help for people experiencing homelessness or other essential activities. A distance of at least 1.5 metres must be kept between people.
- Sanitiser must continue to be used regularly throughout the Liturgy and celebrants must visibly sanitise before and after the distribution of Holy Communion.
St Therese’s can currently host 300 participants at Mass.
- A place of worship hosting a wedding, funeral or religious gathering that is applying the two square metre rule must use electronic record keeping. Otherwise, the four square metre rule applies. Therefore all people attending Mass at St Therese’s must sign in via our QR code.
- Entry to the church is via the main doors at the corner of Lincoln Rd & Florence St. Only mobility-impaired person may enter via the West entrance. All other entrances will be closed.
Mass online is celebrated Wednesday to Friday along with our weekend Mass.
PACE REMAINS CLOSED
For the full details of Covid Safe Summer Phase you should visit the DHHS website.
THE CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCES OF MELBOURNE provides regular pastoral updates on the COVID-19 situation on the CAM website: melbournecatholic,org