Summary of current guidelines (from 11.59pm Friday 25 February)
• Face masks are longer required in most indoor settings (at 11.59pm Friday 25 February).
• Places of worship are open to full capacity (no density quotient – noting risk can be reduced by maintaining 1.5 metre distance from others where possible, using hand sanitiser and practising good hygiene.
• If a wedding or ceremony is being held in a venue that has vaccination requirements, such as hospitality settings, community facilities, or entertainment venues, then you must follow that venue’s vaccination requirements.
• Mandatory vaccination requirements do not apply to people attending places of worship.
• However Religious Workers including volunteers are required to have second dose vaccination with the following exclusion.
This does not include faith leaders (ie pastors) who:
• conduct services of public worship and acknowledgments of faith.
• perform marriages, funerals and special memorial services according to tradition and ecclesiastical and civil law.
• visit members of the community in their homes, hospitals* and other institutions* to provide advice and religious comfort for the purpose of end of life faith reasons.
Under current restrictions in Victoria some workers are required to receive a booster vaccination. At this time this is not yet mandatory for religious workers (including volunteers) with regard to places of worship. If sighting proof of second dose of vaccine has not yet been recorded please ensure this happens immediately.
*Please note that if visiting in a school, hospital or aged care centre or other care facility these agencies will have higher level vaccination and other safety requirements.
• An updated COVID safe plan remains a requirement.
• The COVID safe plan should include information on the response if a COVID infection is reported.
• Display appropriate signage about good hygiene and other COVID safe practices.
• It is recommended ventilation is maximized for gathering spaces.
• It is recommended that public spaces are cleaned regularly.
Due to the risks of COVID-19, food, drinks, crockery, utensils and vessels (such as spoons and cups) or other communal equipment should not be shared by attendees. However, this is permitted (for Religion & Ceremony) under current COVIDSafe Settings**. If food or drinks is to be shared, servers should wash their hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser after handling used crockery and cutlery. All communal equipment should be thoroughly cleaned between uses.
**If the use of the common cup is resumed at this time we recommend due consideration and care for all members and particularly for vulnerable people, and that it be cleaned with an alcohol wipe between each communicant.
The Victorian COVID hotline number is 1800 675 398. Please call this number for advice specific to your circumstances.