Victoria’s Roadmap for Reopening – Implications for Churches

Published on September 9, 2020

In the light of Premier Dan Andrews’ announcements on Sunday 6 September 2020, the Victorian Government has been releasing more details this week about the reopening process for Victoria in the form of a series Roadmaps.

Below is a summary of the implications for churches at various steps.

At the present time, NewHope continues to operate in accordance with Stage 4 Restrictions.

The FIRST step (from 11.59pm on 13 September 2020).

The guidelines for churches are:

  • Weddings: only for compassionate reasons, with up to 5 people (including the couple, two witnesses and celebrant).
    Funerals: allowed with up to 10 people (not including infants under 12 months of age or people required to conduct the funeral).
  • Worship Gatherings: not possible.

The SECOND step (from 28 September 2020)

We will move from the First Step to the Second Step if we reach an average daily case rate of 30-50 cases in Metro Melbourne over the previous 14 days with public health advice regarding transmission source. The guidelines for churches are:

  • Weddings: only for compassionate reasons, with up to 5 people (including the couple, two witnesses and celebrant)
  • Funerals: allowed with up to 10 people (not including infants under 12 months of age or people required to conduct the funeral)
  • Worship Gatherings Outdoors: outdoor gatherings of up to 5 people, plus 1 faith leader, proximate to a place of worship, are allowed.

The THIRD step (from 26 October 2020)

We will move from the Second Step to the Third Step if we reach <5 new cases (state-wide average over previous 14 days) and <5 cases with an unknown source (state-wide total last 14 days). The guidelines for churches are:

  • Weddings: allowed with up to 10 people (including the couple, two witnesses and celebrant)
  • Funerals: allowed with up to 20 people (not including infants under 12 months of age or people required to conduct the funeral)
  • Worship Gatherings Outdoors: outdoor gatherings for up to 10 people plus a faith leader,
  • Private Worship Indoors: facilities open for private worship for a household or social bubble, plus a faith leader.

Last Step (from 23 November 2020)

We will move from the Third Step to the Last Step if we reach no new cases for 14 days (state-wide).

  • Weddings: allowed with 50 people (including the couple, two witnesses and celebrant), 20 in a private residence.
  • Funerals: allowed with 50 people (not including infants under 12 months of age or people required to conduct the funeral), 20 in a private residence.
  • Worship Gatherings Indoors & Outdoors: public worship can resume in outdoor and indoor settings subject to the density quotient of church buildings.

COVID NORMAL.

When threshold met we will move from Last Step to COVID Normal if we reach no new cases for 28 days (state-wide), no active cases (state-wide) and no outbreaks of concern in others states or territories.

No limits on weddings, funerals, or worship gathering, but organisers required to keep records of attendees.

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