Frequently Asked Questions

Click here for the latest advice regarding COVID-19.

If you have any questions or concerns, please speak to your congregational COVID Advisor or contact the Synod COVID-19 team via email at COVID19@ucaqld.com.au.

The impacted zone includes:

  • City of Brisbane
  • City of Gold Coast
  • City of Ipswich
  • Lockyer Valley Regional Council
  • Logan City
  • Moreton Bay Region
  • Noosa Shire Council
  • Redland City
  • Scenic Rim Regional Council
  • Somerset Regional Council
  • Sunshine Coast Regional Council

Yes.  Places of worship are permitted to open subject to occupant density restrictions.

Occupant Density can now be calculated at one person to two square metres in all spaces.  

100 per cent capacity is permitted with ticketed allocated individual seating for all buildings. 

Occupant Density must be applied at one person per two square metres for an outdoor event.  Attendees do need to be reminded to physically distance to the extent possible.

In the impacted zone, weddings and funerals can take place subject to the same occupant density rules of one person per two square metres or 100% capacity with a ticketed and allocated seating model in place.  All capacities include the celebrant and service participantsThese numbers remain the same regardless as to whether the wedding/funeral are taking place indoors or outdoors.  Travel from an impacted area to another part of Queensland to attend a funeral or wedding is permitted however Queensland Health encourages people to limit movement outside the impacted areas 

Morning tea and refreshment can be provided. Attendees are permitted to stand whilst eating and drinking. 

There is no longer a requirement for people to be served during morning tea as individuals can now help themselves to tea, coffee and food. Face masks must be worn whilst collecting food and drink but can be removed once seated to consume their refreshments.

Training for those involved in the preparation and setting out of morning tea is still a requirement and the cleaning requirements remain:

  • Regularly clean touch points, which now may mean utensils and urn taps
  • Re-usable crockery and cutlery will still need to be washed in a commercial dishwasher or in water hotter than 70 degrees
  • Continue using single use if unable to clean at these temperatures safely.

While some restrictions may have eased, masks are still mandated in some instances. They must be worn at all times when indoors. During services, this means the only persons who would be potentially exempt from this restriction is the minister or worship leader whilst speaking.  Children under the age of 12 are also exempt from wearing masks. Although they do not have to be worn when outdoors, you should carry one with you at all times.  

At this stage, this will be in place for another two weeks until at least 10 September 2021.  

In the impacted zone, a maximum of 100  people including the members of the person’s household are allowed to gather in a private residence.  

Livestreaming is permitted from the place of worship.  Livestreaming of weddings and funerals is also permitted but those involved in the livestreaming are included in the total number of people attending the wedding/funeral.

Vulnerable persons should consult their doctor and exercise caution when leaving the safety of their home. In the impacted zone during lockdown, vulnerable people should exercise caution when volunteering.

All industry plans were revoked on the 25 June 2021 and replaced by a standard COVID Safe Checklists. 

Places of worship in the impacted areas are required to abide by the requirements of the Restrictions for Impacted Areas (SEQ eased restrictions Stage 3) Direction. Congregations in the impacted areas should follow the COVID Safe Checklist for Restricted Business in Impacted Areas.  

No.  Anybody who was in the areas that were locked down from 1am on the 31 July must also remain in their homes for 14 days or until the lockdown is lifted, whichever is the sooner. This also applies to other person that live in the same house regardless as to whether they were in the lockdown areas or not.

Occupant Density can now be calculated at one person to two square metres.

100 per cent capacity is permitted with ticketed allocated individual seating is being used.

Occupant Density does not need to be applied to outdoor gatherings.  Attendees do need to be reminded to physically distance to the extent possible.

A maximum of 100 people can currently attend a home group or gathering in a private residence.

In the impacted zone, weddings and funerals are restricted to 100 people in total, including the celebrant. These numbers remain the same regardless as to whether the wedding/funeral are taking place indoors or outdoors.  Only 20 people are permitted to dance at a wedding. Travel from an impacted area to another part of Queensland to attend a funeral or wedding is permitted however Queensland Health encourages people to limit movement outside the impacted areas.

All industry plans were revoked on the 25 June 2021 and replaced by a standard COVID Safe Checklists.

Places of worship in the impacted areas are required to abide by the requirements of the Restrictions for Impacted Areas (SEQ eased restrictions Stage 2) Direction. Congregations in the impacted areas should follow the COVID Safe Checklist for Restricted Business in Impacted Areas.

Yes.  It is a requirement of the COVID Safe Checklists that a place of worship demonstrate how they are meeting the checklist obligations.  A safety management plan outlines how the  place of worship is addressing the requirements of the checklist.

The Check-in QLD App became mandatory for Places of Worship from 1am on Friday 9 July 2021. Persons attending a place of worship are required to check in as they enter the building.  It is also required for indoor gatherings at a place of worship including worship services, indoor weddings and indoor funerals. It is not required for outdoor gatherings.

The Check-in QLD App is also mandatory for community halls, and it is the responsibility of the congregation to ensure the appropriate signage and access to business profile is available for the hirer. It is not the responsibility for the congregation to ensure that the hirer is making all people check in – this is the hirer’s role. It is important congregations clarify this with their hirers.

Each congregation will need to register via the Check-in QLD App website to receive their QR Code, posters and business number.

It should be noted that congregations are required to have a “back-up” in place for an instance that the internet or the App is not working.

A premises is defined in the Public Health Act 2005 as a building or other structure and a part of a building or other structure.

Venue or site are both terms used in public health directions and advice but are not defined within the Public Health Act 2005 or in the public health direction.  A site is defined as the spatial location of an actual or planned structure or set of structures (Merrim-Webster Dictionary).  A venue is defined as a place where events of a specific type are held (Merrim-Webster Dictionary).

For the purposes of this definition each building on the site can be considered a separate premises.

In the impacted zone during lockdown, vulnerable people should not volunteer.

Broadly speaking, Yes, vulnerable people are able to volunteer, however, a church council is obligated to take all reasonable precautions to ensure their volunteers can perform their duties safely.  The vulnerable volunteer risk assessment form needs to be completed and approved by church council. Vulnerable volunteers in the impacted areas should consider their own health and safety and, in conjunction with their doctor, make a call on whether it is safe to leave the house.

A volunteer is “a person who, in a church activity, is rostered for a duty, involved in running the activity, and/or directed to perform specific tasks other than to join in communally”. A procedure document Assessing work for volunteers deemed vulnerable to COVID-19 and the Vulnerable worker risk assessment form have been developed collaboratively between the Synod office and Presbytery Ministers. A risk assessment needs to be completed and approved by the church council before a vulnerable volunteer is able to return to service safely. We care and value all those that serve in the church and encourage church councils to continue to consider the safety of all workers including those that are classed as vulnerable.

Yes, but masks must be worn at all times in the impacted areas, once the lockdown concludes, until the mandatory face mask requirements are removed.

Yes, choirs and carolers can perform. There must be no more than one person per 2 square metres in the space you are performing (including the choir and the audience). You should be at least 4 metres away from your audience. 

Performances that are not choirs can perform 2 metres away from your audience. There must be no more than one person per 2 square metres in the space you are performing (including the performers and the audience). 

If performers in the impacted zone are 1.5 metres from other performers and attendees, they are permitted to remove their mask but must put it back on immediately after they finish performing. Performers in the impacted zone that cannot physically distance from other performers or attendees must wear a mask at all times, until the mandatory face mask requirements are removed.  

There is no longer a requirement for people to be served during morning tea as individuals can now help themselves to tea, coffee and food. Training for those involved in the preparation and setting out of morning tea is still a requirement and the cleaning requirements remain:

  • Regularly clean touch points, which now may mean utensils and urn taps
  • Re-usable crockery and cutlery will still need to be washed in a commercial dishwasher or in water hotter than 70 degrees
  • Continue using single use if unable to clean at these temperatures safely.

It is the responsibility of the hirer to clean the area which they have used after each instance. However, the Church Council should communicate the cleaning expectations and requirements, have them documented in the safety management plan and ensure that cleaning requirements are adhered to.

In the “impacted areas” masks are mandatory until at least 10 September 2021. This means that anyone leaving the home must wear a mask, including at church services. The only person who would be potentially exempt from this restriction is the minister or worship leader.  Children under the age of 12 are also exempt from wearing masks.  

Outside of the “impacted zone”, there is no requirement to wear a mask during services, unless you have been in the impacted zone in the last 14 days.  

Queensland Synod office contacts