An update from the General Secretary to Congregations and other Ministries
27th July 2021
COVID update for congregations
We are pleased to share the news that the Premier has announced that from 12:01am Wednesday 28 July 2021, COVID-19 restrictions in South Australia will be eased from Level 5 to Level 3 restrictions. This means the lockdown will end, but there will still be some restrictions in place. The new level of restrictions that come into effect on Wednesday 28th July are as follows:
- Density requirements of 1 person per 4 (four) square metres
- Seated consumption of food and beverages both indoors and outdoors and no communal food or beverage facilities
- No singing unless:
the person is performing individually (not including a karaoke performer); or
the person is a member of a group of performers performing or rehearsing in the premises (not including karaoke performers or persons performing or rehearsing as part of a choir or chorus); or
the premises are an educational establishment; or
the person is undertaking or providing an individual lesson.
- Weddings and funerals in a private place (not a church) are capped at 50 attendees. As churches are public places, the number allowed at a wedding ceremony or funeral service at a church is limited by the density requirement of 1 person per 4m2. The cap of 50 attendees does apply to the wedding reception or funeral wake/ refreshments after the service.
- Private gatherings in households are limited to 10 people (this would apply to small groups/ bible study groups in homes)
- Gyms/fitness classes have a density requirement of 1 person per 8 m2. This will affect some hirers of church halls.
- Wearing of masks is mandatoryin high risk settings, personal care and health care services, passenger and public transport, secondary schools, and indoor public places – this includes churches.
The Premier also stated that masks are strongly recommended to be worn in open plan work-places, and particularly in common areas like the lunch-room, photocopy area, lifts and foyer. This will impact church offices, as well as church meetings, for example, Church Council meetings.
Professor Spurrier, the Chief Public Health Officer stated that the rule of thumb for South Australians is that if you can wear a mask, then you should wear a mask. This means that planning for all of our church activities should take this into account. With this in mind, if you are attending any of the Synod sites: the Pirie Street office, the Brooklyn Park campus, or Uniting Venues for meetings or other events, please wear a mask.
Please keep up-to-date with the government’s COVID-19 restrictions at this link.
If you have questions about the new restrictions please contact Associate General Secretary, Sue Page firstname.lastname@example.org on (08) 8236 4217 or 0430 666 959.
We know that navigating new restrictions and the introduction of mask wearing in many more settings than we have been accustomed to in South Australia will be challenging.
Please take some time to think through what will work in your setting, and make adjustments to church activities and worship accordingly. Please be encouraged, knowing that we continue to play our part in keeping our community safe.
Grace and peace,
Rev Felicity Amery
General Secretary, Synod of South Australia