Further clarification to the Government announcement on Tuesday regarding Covid -19 restrictions the current venue capacity of 50% for Places of Worship has been provided.
Changes can be put in place from Friday 22nd October keeping in mind the following cautions:
“ religious services and weddings can proceed without capacity limits but with all other protective measures remaining in place”.
This is a very positive measure, however it is imperative that all other Covid-19 protective measures remain in place in order to protect all members of our communities/congregations.
Premises should be well ventilated, hand sanitiser should be provided, Places of Worship should continue to use separate entry and exit routes, and face masks should be worn. Congregations should be encouraged to spread out as much as possible when attending Places of Worship and those experiencing any Covid-19 symptoms should be discouraged from attending.
As the capacity of Places of Worship and numbers attending varies greatly, the onus will be on each Place of Worship and community to consider what they are comfortable with and what best suits their congregation. This will be particularly relevant for funerals/special ceremonies, with large congregations in attendance. Attendees on these occasions should not be permitted to stand in the aisles or doorways and hand-shaking and the use of condolence books/sharing of Booklets etc should continue to be avoided.
Choirs or soloists performing in Places of Worship should be limited in line with the size/capacity of the venue, and should adhere to 2 metre social distance from other singers, the choir master, the congregation and any other individuals in the setting (as they will not be wearing face masks during performances).