Melbourne Moves to Stage 4 Restrictions
Premier Daniel Andrews announced on Sunday afternoon that Stage 4 restrictions will come in to force in Victoria from 6pm on Sunday 2nd August.
- Victoria entered a State of Disaster from 6pm on Sunday 2 August until Sunday 13 September. This will give police additional powers to make sure people are complying with public health directions.
- Melbourne will move to stage 4 restrictions from 6pm on 2 August 2020.
- A curfew will be implemented across Melbourne from 8pm to 5am. The only reason to leave home during these times will be work, medical care and caregiving.
- New duration, distance and gathering limits will apply to shopping and exercise. Exercise will be limited to one hour a day within a five-kilometre radius of your home. Group size will be limited to two, regardless of if you are in the same household or not.
- Shopping for essentials will be limited to one person per household per day. A five-kilometre limit applies.
- Regional Victoria will move to stage 3 restrictions from 11.59pm Wednesday 5 August 2020. There are only four reasons to leave home; for food and supplies, medical care and caregiving, exercise and work or study, if you can’t work or study from home.
- Mitchell Shire will remain at stage 3 restrictions.
- All Victorian students will move to remote learning from Wednesday 5 August.
- From 11:59pm on Sunday 2 August 2020 all Victorian’s must wear a face covering when leaving home. More information on face masks and coverings is available on the dhhs website.
Premier Andrews announced the new level of restrictions will mean weddings will not be held in Melbourne during Stage 4. Funerals held in Melbourne will be restricted to 10 people plus those required to conduct the funeral. No other religious services will take place unless for the purpose of live-streaming.
Regional Victoria Returns to Stage 3 Restrictions
If you live in Regional Victoria you must stay at home. People may leave their home for four reasons:
- Shopping for food or other essential items
- To provide care giving, for compassionate reasons or to seek medical treatment
- For exercise (outdoor exercise only, with only one other person or members of your household)
- Work or study, only if you cannot work or study from home
All Victorian’s must wear a face covering when leaving home.
Additional restrictions have also been put in place:
- Weddings in a regional Victoria will be limited to 5 people (the couple, two witnesses and the celebrant).
- Baptisms in regional Victoria are to be postponed where possible, unless there is an urgent and grave pastoral need. (Can. 857; 860). In that instance, numbers will be limited to 5 people (the child, couple and godparents within the total of 5 limitations) + celebrant.
- Funerals held in Victoria will be restricted to 10 people plus those required to conduct the funeral.
- Religious services and private worship will need to be streamed online as places of worship will be closed except to hold weddings, funerals or public services such as foodbanks.
For those liturgies permitted above, all density, number and hygiene regulations must be adhered to, including the recording of participant contact details (first name and phone number). Except for the exemptions noted regarding Weddings and Funerals, all public Masses, Liturgies and communal devotions (whether indoors or outdoors) are temporarily suspended for 6 weeks or until further notice. Also affected by this closure are church buildings, adoration chapels and other church buildings used for public prayer and religious services. Priests may celebrate Mass privately in a closed church, including for the purposes of live streaming. In doing so all precautions such as physical distancing and hygiene measures must be modelled and met. Masses in family homes or other such private or domestic locations are not permitted.
CHANGE OF PLANS AS OF SATURDAY 20th JUNE 2020
Updated 23rd June
The latest news is that due to flare-ups in coronavirus infection, the Victorian Government has directed that only 20 people may attend religious services, down from the 50 planned for this week. These restrictions will now be in place until Sunday 12 July at 11.59pm.
Regrettably this means that St Therese’s Parish Church will remain closed, whilst we continue to provide weekend Masses on-line on the Parish website until further notice, as well as weekday Masses from Wednesday to Friday.
These are the circumstances beyond our control, and we just have to be patient and careful in staying safe and looking out for each other at a physical distance!
I very much regret the further delays, but it is for the good of all. We have to realize that this virus is dangerous and more contagious than anything we have ever known.
As always, the health and well-being of our parishioners remains our top priority and we will adhere to any further government directives regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thanks for your understanding.
John Hannon Parish Priest
As the church remains closed except for funerals, baptisms and weddings, see below for the current guidelines for these celebrations at St Therese’s.
With numbers of COVID cases in Victoria rising recently, we have decided to maintain our current position of no parish group meetings of any kind.
PACE remains closed to all hirers and parish groups.
As always, the health and wellbeing of our parishioners and our community remain our number one priority.
PARISH OFFICE OPEN BY APPOINTMENT
Following the Premier’s statement on 29 May, we have reveresed our decision to reopen the parish office as we follow the government directive to work from home. The office remains (virtually) open each weekday from 9am until 3pm via phone and email.
For those who need to visit us in person or meet with Fr John, appointments can be made over the phone or via email. We can also book online meetings via Zoom.
Any face to face meetings will be held under strict social distancing, 4m squared allowances and hygiene requirements.
THE CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESE OF MELBOURNE provides regular pastoral updates on the COVID-19 situation. You can find those updates on the CAM website www.cam.org.au
As we move through the Easter Season we invite you to join in with our virtual liturgical celebrations, where Mass is accessible on the parish website.
During the week, there will be available for participation, daily Mass each Wednesday to Friday and then a weekend Mass available from Saturday afternoon.
Stations of the Cross, contemporary and traditional versions, the latter with images from the Stations in our parish church, are available on our website for viewing, prayer and reflection, at your convenience.
Letter from Fr John 27th March 2020
“We can still keep in touch at a distance!!” In these challenging and uncertain times, with the shut down of our church and Masses and liturgies, Fr John reached out to the parishioners of St Therese’s.
Our website will be updated regularly so please keep checking
Due to the ongoing and dynamic COVID-19 situation, all of these protocols are subject to change without notice at any time in accordance with state and federal government directives as well as any directives of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne.