COVID-19 Church Worker Frequently Asked Questions

All information below is current unless pending changes are indicated.

Latest changes:

  • Close contact rules changing April 22 here.
  • April Southern Cross out now in print and here.
  • Updated advice from Youthworks here.

Up-to-date summary

Updates as of March 25: 

– QR check-ins scrapped 

– Singing permitted 

– Masks no longer mandatory 

– The recommendation to work from home is at the employer’s discretion

Summary:

Anyone can attend a wedding, funeral or place of worship. 

You are not required to be fully vaccinated or carry vaccination evidence
Face masks are not required for indoor premises
COVID-19 Safe Check-in is not required at places of worship, funerals, memorial services, or gatherings afterwards. 
There are no restrictions for singing

NSW Health page for Places of Worship here.

– Updated isolation rules for people exposed to COVID. Details here

Vaccine Information

The Health Department has produced two documents, outlining current knowledge on vaccine efficiency and transmission patterns of the Delta variant of COVID-19.

Download the Fact Sheet.

For more detailed scientific background, download the Evidence Check.

Frequently Asked Questions

What process do we follow if we have a COVID-positive case at church?

See this checklist (pdf here) for guidelines if you are visited by a COVID-positive person.

What are the rules concerning funerals?

Anyone can attend a funeral. Attendees are not required to be fully vaccinated or carry vaccination evidence.
Face masks are no longer required for indoor premises.
COVID-19 Safe Check-in is not required. Density limits no longer apply. 

Can we perform weddings?

Anyone can attend a wedding. Attendees are not required to be fully vaccinated or carry vaccination evidence.
COVID-19 Safe Check-in is not required for places of worship. Density limits no longer apply. 
Standing while drinking and eating is permitted but it is strongly discouraged by NSW Health.

How can people prove their immunisation status?

Immunisation status can be shown via a digital certificate on a smart phone or people can apply to have a printed certificate sent to them (takes about two weeks) by calling the Australian Immunisation Register on 1800 653 809 or online through this link.

What if people don’t have a smart phone or digital wallet to check in?

COVID-19 Safe Check-in is no longer required.

Previously, People who did not have a smartphone could order or download a Check-In card from NSW Health.

What is the advice on ventilation for churches?

Well-ventilated indoor spaces reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19. The Health Department has posted advice on ventilation here.

Can we host Food Banks or other services for vulnerable people?

A place of public worship can be open to provide a service to assist vulnerable members of the public, for example a food bank or a service providing for the needs of homeless persons.

Can we deliver ‘care packages’ to vulnerable persons?

Care packages can be delivered to vulnerable persons. 

Livestreaming and singing

Singing is permitted at services.

If you still need it,  there are a number of options for recorded singing -

Emu Music: 

Emu have created a large number of song leading videos of hymns and contemporary songs exactly for the purpose of using in online church services. This page here allows for direct downloading, royalty free and which can be easily embedded into what ever format churches are using.

City Alight:

City Alight will do a limited time use of songs in this way. If churches don’t have a CCLI license to use the songs, they’re welcome to use them if they contact licensing@integritymusic.com and hello@cityalight.com to let us know they’re using them. 

If churches do have the streaming plus CCLI license, the same process as usual. We direct all people to our FAQs page here. In summary, to use the videos in a livestream you need a CCLI livestream plus license, to use them in a zoom call that won’t be published, you need a regular CCLI Church reporting license. 

Colin Buchanan: 

Colin’s YouTube channel here has video clips to choose from. Such as Jesus Strong and Kind here and Be strong and courageous here.
If you could register usage through your CCLI.

St. Andrew's Cathedral:

The Cathedral Music team still has some hymns and some songs by Rob Smith available to download from this dropbox:
here.

Where will I find ongoing information and updates?

The Archbishop will be communicating with rectors and wardens on a regular basis. There will be regular updates via the Sydney Anglican COVID 19 page. Please visit this site for ongoing information and answers to FAQs.  We encourage you to check the page maintained by NSW Health.

Further detail on some answers can be found on the Parish Portal at SDS

Our Parish HR Partner Vikki Napier has been designated as a point of contact for parishes for any queries related to the impact of COVID-19 on parishes. Vikki’s email.

The latest Public Health Orders can be found here

What are the requirements for recording contact details?

COVID-19 Safe Check-in is not required at places of worship, funerals, memorial services, or gatherings afterwards. 

What are the requirements for cleaning, if there has been a confirmed case on the premises?

NSW Health does not require that a specialist cleaning company be used, but you can if you want to. There are detailed requirements here.

What about Youth & Children’s Ministry?

The following guidelines have been supplied by Youthworks on Feb 23, 2022.

For more information please contact Al James (email).

Youth and children’s gatherings can be run on church property, in homes or outdoors with no density limits.

Vaccination

Children’s and youth gatherings are open to all regardless of vaccination status. 

Vaccination of leaders is not required by law.

Masks, social distancing and singing

From Friday 25th Feb, Children and Youth over 12 as well as leaders are no longer required to wear masks indoors, including while singing.

Wearing of masks is encouraged where social distancing is not possible.

Ventilation

Children’s and youth programs should utilise outdoor settings where possible and increase ventilation indoors where possible by opening windows or through other means.

Contact recording

COVID-19 Safe Check-in is not required at youth and children’s ministry gatherings. Usual procedures for taking attendance should be followed.

Further Advice:

Covid safety plans are optional.

There should be a minimum of 2 adults present at all times and they should record and store the contact details of those who attend.

For help implementing these guidelines in your local setting, contact Youthworks Ministry Support.

Can Playgroups now run in Churches?

Play groups are able to run.

Can we continue SRE?

Guidelines for SRE including current restrictions can be found here.

Can camps happen?

Yes, all camp organisers should speak directly with the provider or conference centre being used. Download Youthworks camp advice here.

How can I do an AGM on Zoom?

Temporary arrangements have been put in place for parishes that had not been able to hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM) because of the impact of COVID19.

One such arrangement is to allow an AGM to be held remotely through the use of technology,

Full details are here in PDF. Accompanying PowerPoint Slides are here.

I have another question that isn’t in these FAQs?

For any further enquiries please contact Vikki Napier, our Parish HR Partner via email.

Where to find key information