The NSW Premier has announced churches will be allowed to sing again without masks this Easter.
Singing has been under a cloud since the start of COVID and even the concessions of masks were reeled back at the outbreak in Sydney’s North Beaches late last year.
Now, the Premier says restrictions on singing at places of worship will be lifted, from next Monday, March 29.
“The unprecedented catastrophic weather conditions coupled with dealing with the pandemic, off the back of a deep drought and off the back of catastrophic bushfire season, has meant it's been a difficult time. But a number of things have been learned during the last 18 months to two years in our state and one of them is that every opportunity, with empathy and with compassion, you need to keep moving forward,” the Premier said. “That's why today I'm pleased to announce the New South Wales government will be easing restrictions. There will no longer be any caps on weddings and funerals. You'll be able to dance and sing in any environment including places of worship.”
- There is no cap on visitors in the home but COVID safety plans if more than 100 people
- Personal outdoor public gatherings can have 200 people
- All venues to move to 2m2 rule (the rule does not apply to under 25 people)
The news was greeted with sighs of relief from Christians throughout Sydney and the Illawarra.
Archbishop Glenn Davies, has been in regular contact with the government on the COVID restrictions, tweeted: "Hallelujah! I commend the government for its caution but with no community transmission it is time for us to be allowed to publicly sing praise to God once more. This will lift the spirits of so many people this Easter and I invite you to join us at your local church."
In a letter to churches on Thursday 25th March, Archbishop Davies, on his last day in office, indicated that the relaxed restrictions would apply from this weekend.
"After further conversations with Minister Hazzard this week, I am delighted to inform you that he has granted an exemption to all places of public worship across the State for this weekend, with regard to singing.” Dr Davies said. "In other words, on Palm Sunday we shall be exempt from the current rules about singing with masks and the requirement of the 4m2 rule. This effectively eases the restrictions regarding singing that will apply from Monday, 29 March, so that the relaxed restrictions are applicable in our churches on both Saturday and Sunday this coming weekend."