Churches of Christ in Western Australia are an association of churches that facilitate relationships and resources with Churches of Christ leadership, so that local churches grow and multiply.
COVID-19 ADVICE UPDATE
23 June 2020
UPDATE – WA MOVING TO PHASE 4 RESTRICTIONS
WA Premier Mark McGowan announced that from 27 June (11.59pm Friday 26 June), the WA Government will continue to ease restrictions and move to Phase 4 of the COVID WA Roadmap.
Current health advice supports the re-opening and increasing capacity of venues and facilities, and an increase in indoor and outdoor non-work gatherings, while continuing to practise physical distancing and good personal hygiene.
Key announcements for Phase 4 restrictions include:
- Gathering limits now only determined by WA’s reduced 2sqm rule per person
- All other existing gathering limits and the 100/300 rule are removed
- The 2sqm rule will only include staff at venues that hold more than 500 patrons
- Removal of seated service requirements at food businesses and licensed premises (this includes churches with café facilities)
Further information is available at: COVID19 – Phase 4 Restrictions
PLACES OF WORSHIP – RE-OPENING
From 27 June 2020, places of worship are permitted to open with capacity limits of 2sqm per person limit, based on the size of your facility/room, excluding the people required to conduct the service. Note that if your church has the capacity based on sqm limits to hold more than 500 people, in this instance staff/service teams are to be included in the total person count in the church facility.
As you begin to re-open your Church and expand meetings, please ensure that you undertake the following:
- Limit the number of people on site to 1 person per 2 square metres (density requirement)
- Update your COVID19 Safety Plan to cover the new restrictions and requirements
- Update your COVID19 Safety Plan Certificate
- Observe, and encourage, social distancing (1.5 metres rule)
- Facilitate good hand and respiratory hygiene, including by offering hand sanitiser at entrance and exit
- Frequently clean and disinfect facilities
- Keep records of attendees, including names and contact details, to assist with contract tracing if required
- Update signage to support compliance with current restrictions and advice (including the use of floor markings to help remind attendees of social distancing requirements)
REGISTER OF PEOPLE ATTENDING SERVICES AND EVENTS
COCWA has confirmed with the COVID19 Information Service (Department of Premier & Cabinet) that churches are still required to maintain a register of people attending services and events at church facilities under the Phase 4 restrictions.
Under Phase 4 restrictions, this requirement has lifted from food businesses and licensed premises only at this stage.
MORNING TEA & COMMUNION
Churches are encouraged to maintain a high level of hygiene practices when serving morning tea and communion. Some tips may include:
- wear gloves and face masks for food preparation
- promote hand washing/sanitising before morning tea
- eliminate finger foods
- control the serving of food/drinks- you may have a select number of people pouring drinks and serving food
- use of utensils for serving
- avoid home made meals
- do not hover around the food/drink table
- use pre filled communion sets
- space out the juice and bread on the trays
- have a select number of people handing out the elements, wearing gloves
In WA there is a low risk of transfer of COVID19 via aerosolized droplets – however, it is important for people to maintain their social distancing (1.5m) and capacity limits for each facility (1 person per 2sqm). In WA we have no government requirements not to sing in Churches, so essentially it is OK to do so.
COCWA has raised our concerns at this requirement for Churches and will continue to liaise with the Department of Premier and Cabinet to seek to amend this requirement for churches as the Phase 4 restrictions are introduced.
STAY UP TO DATE
COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving situation, and all Churches are reminded to stay on top of the latest information. Learn more by referring to trusted sources, such as: