This afternoon the “Guidelines for Places of Worship” were revised to increase the capacity for places of worship on March 19th. (items marked * were updated on April 7, 2021)
- The total number of people participating in the services cannot exceed 30 per cent of seating capacity or 150 people, whichever is less.
- These guidelines apply to all worship services, including celebrations of life, weddings and outdoor ceremonies. However, these guidelines do not apply to receptions or non-ceremonial gatherings.
- *(Updated – March 22, 2021) Concurrent services are permitted so long as the total building maximum does not exceed 150, each room does not exceed 30% capacity, and there are separate entrances / exists.
- (Unchanged) Non-ceremonial meetings are permitted in groups no larger than 30 as long as physical distancing can be maintained.
*We are returning to the same capacity limit as last fall. You are encouraged to review your protocols as you prepare to implement these new guidelines.
*All of the current directives remain in place until April 26th.
Two metre physical distancing between family units, mandatory mask wearing, and hand and surface sanitation will continue until we are instructed otherwise through the public health orders.
Some other important details to review:
- Managing how people enter and exit the building, and pews, to ensure that family units do not come within 2m of each other. One way traffic flow is suggested (entering through one door and leaving through another).
- For the purposes of contact tracing, places of worship are required to collect and maintain a list of people that are present within their facilities for any purposes. Contact details must include date, time, name, address, and phone number or email address.
- When collecting contact details, avoid the sharing of pens or other common touch instruments unless disinfected between each use.
- Contact registration lists must be maintained confidentially by the place of worship and destroyed after 30 days.
- Remind attendees to continue to do self-assessments before going to a place of worship. If they are feeling unwell, they should stay home.
- Attendees who are medically vulnerable are strongly encouraged to delay their return to services and continue to participate in services online, where possible.
- While choirs and singing by congregation members are permitted in places of worship, caution is advised as singing is a high-risk activity. Choir members who are not part of the same family must maintain at least three metres of separation from each other and from the rest of the congregation.
We encourage anyone who is scheduled to have a vaccine within a few days of a worship service, not to go to worship that day and to wait until after they have received the vaccine, especially those who are over 60.