Frequently Asked Questions

Click here for the latest advice regarding COVID-19. Updates as of 5am 17 January 2022.

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.

 

We asked the following questions:

Occupant density no longer applies for indoor or outdoor worship services. Attendees do need to be reminded to physically distance to the extent possible.

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

There is no limit to the number of persons that can attend a home group or other gathering in a private residence.

Occupant density no longer applies for funerals. Attendees do need to be reminded to physically distance to the extent possible.

Wedding capacity depends on the vaccination status of attendees, officials and the bridal party. If all attendees and those involved are vaccinated, the wedding can proceed with no occupant density.

If one or more persons attending the wedding are yet to be vaccinated, the maximum number of people that can attend the wedding, including the bridal party, person officiating the service, and volunteers is 20 in total.

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

The industry plans are no longer a requirement adherence to the Public Health and Social Measures linked to vaccination status Direction apply.

Yes. A safety management plan outlines how the place of worship is addressing the need for physical distancing, public health controls and keeping people safe. 

The Check-in Qld App remains mandatory when checking into businesses that are only permitted to welcome vaccinated persons such as cafés, coffee shops, movie cinemas, theatres, concerts and other activities considered to be non-essential leisure activities.

Attendees no longer need to check in using the Check-in Qld App but may still be required to provide vaccination evidence if the activity or service is taking place at the same time as a non-essential leisure activity is being run in the building.

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.

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.

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 when caps are imposed.

Yes, choirs can perform.

Precautions need to be taken to ensure the safety of choir members and the audience. A choir should be at least 4 metres away from your audience.

Performances that are not choirs can perform 2 metres away from your audience.

Yes. 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 touchpoints, 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.

It is no longer a requirement for people to wear masks whilst attending an indoor worship service, funeral, wedding or congregational activity.

Workers and members can still carry a mask and wear them if they are unable to physically distance or they feel uncomfortable.  They are still required on public transport, in airports and on commercial planes and in aged care, disability accommodation and hospitals.

 

No, as such the restrictions that will apply to cafes and restaurants will not apply to places of worship, unless your congregation has a café on site.  

According to the Queensland Health direction, yes. However, it is up to each individual church council to determine whether they will allow non-vaccinated members of the community to attend a service.  

Unvaccinated persons can attend unticketed, outdoor, community events (i.e. carols in the park or new year eve fireworks) as these are not captured in the rules around events and entertainment.

A person who is yet to be vaccinated is not permitted to attend an indoor event or a ticketed outdoor event.

It is possible to serve all persons in your café however only the vaccinated will be permitted to sit down for a meal. Unvaccinated persons will be able to enter and order a takeaway meal/coffee and immediately leave the café after receiving their drink. All café staff and volunteers are required to be fully vaccinated.

If these activities have been approved by church council and they are not specifically listed as non-essential leisure activities, it is in order for these activities to continue to take place.

Yes. If you do have a commercial café or coffee shop, it will be necessary to restrict table service to vaccinated persons however those who are yet to be vaccinated can order takeaway food and drink.

Yes. The difference between a community meal and running a café is that the community meal is an essential service. Vaccinated and unvaccinated persons can attend but we would strongly recommend that any volunteers involved in the community meal are fully vaccinated before serving when borders open.

Only fully vaccinated persons are able to attend a concert held indoors on the site.

A hirer cannot come under a place of worship’s safety management plan. Each hirer will need their own plan. Depending on whether it is a non-essential leisure activity they are providing, then capacities and other restrictions may apply. 

Occupant Density no longer applies in a community hall, unless the hirer is running a non-essential leisure activity.

If the hall has been hired for a private party, wake, wedding reception, conference or presentation and all persons attending have been vaccinated 100% capacity is permitted without ticketing.

If there is anyone in attendance that is yet to be vaccinated, the number of people that can attend drops to the lesser of one person per four square metres or 20 people in total.

Restrictions have been imposed on conference centres and outdoor education settings by the public health directions. Please contact the conference centre or campsite to establish whether there are any restrictions that will impact your camp.

If the concert or festival is planned for outdoors, both vaccinated and unvaccinated people can attend. If wet weather prompts the leadership group to move attendees into the buildings, only vaccinated persons are able to enter the buildings after checking in using the Check-in Qld App and providing evidence of their vaccination status.

Those yet to be vaccinated will be required to go home as they are unable to attend an indoor concert or festival.

Queensland Synod office contacts