Places of worship play an important role in providing spiritual leadership for many individuals, and in bringing communities and generations together. However, their communal nature also makes them places that are vulnerable to the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
The government continues to work with its Places of Worship Taskforce and faith leaders to review and amend this guidance, as necessary, in line with the changing situation and to enable the safe reopening of places of worship for a broader range of activities as soon as possible.
Whilst engaging in an activity in the place of worship or surrounding
grounds, all parties should adhere to social distancing guidelines at all times
even within a group of six or where a specific activity-based exemption is
applicable. This means people should be 2 metres apart or more than 1 metre
apart as well as taking extra steps to stay safe (such as wearing face
coverings) to reduce the risk of transmission.
In Tier 2 and Tier 3 areas, people must not mingle indoors with anyone they do
not live with or have formed a support bubble with.
CCL Newma managers/campus pastor should take all possible steps to secure the safety of the public, ensuring that gathering limits are adhered to. While places of worship will not be mandated to implement any further restrictions that a Local Authority may suggest to control the spread of the virus within the local restriction tiers. The following are the key principals we have set as organisation:
• Further lowering capacity – even if it is possible to seat a larger numbers of people inside a venue safely, it may not be safe for them all to travel to and from, or enter and exit, the venue. Therefore, each service would be limit to 60 people maximum.
• Staggering entry times with other local venues and taking steps to avoid queues building up in surrounding areas. Therefore, our service would start strictly on time and finish on time with minimum delay.
• Establishing pre-booking arrangements so that, at particularly busy times, no more than can be safely accommodated arrive at the venue. Therefore, our service would be strictly by pre-booking only and with tickets system entry only.
• Visitors will be responsible for not gathering in groups larger than six on their way to and from places of worship. We advise our congregation not to gather inside or outside the venue at any point.
Adapting practices to reduce the spread of infection:
The use of shared items
• Individuals should be prevented from touching or reusing any objects
Food and Drink
• Where food or drink (‘consumables’) are essential to the act of
worship, they can be used, however the sharing of food should be avoided, as should the use of communal vessels
• Where possible leaders do not give cash donations and continue to use online or contactless giving and resources.
Young people and children attending places of worship
• Young children should be supervised by the parent or guardian outside of organised children’s activities. They should wash hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with running water and soap and dry them thoroughly or use hand sanitiser ensuring that all parts of the hands are covered.
General actions to reduce the spread of infection
Test and trace
The NHS Test and Trace service:
• gets in touch with anyone who has had a positive test result to help them share information about any close recent contacts they have had alerts those contacts, where necessary, and notifies them they
need to self-isolate to help stop the spread of the virus
In England, face coverings are required by law to be worn in places of worship. There are valid exemptions for some individuals and groups to not wear a face covering in these settings. In particular, those who are leading permitted services or events in a place of worship, and those who assist them
Social distancing measures are actions to reduce social interaction between people in order to minimise the opportunity for transmission of COVID-19.
All venue managers and all visitors to a place of worship must follow the law and should follow the guidance on social distancing including:
• adhering to social distancing, meaning people should be 2 metres apart or more than 1 metre apart as well as taking extra steps to stay safe (such as wearing face coverings) to reduce the risk of transmission
People who are symptomatic
Anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19 (a new continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell) should not attend the place of worship due to the risk that they pose to others
CCL ADMIN TEAM