BUV COVID-19 Advice (June)

30th June 2020

Update 23rd June 2020, 11am

The Premier has announced a number of changes to restrictions from 11.59pm on 21 June 2020. View the Statement from the Premier for more information.

  • From 22 June the number of visitors that you can have to your home will reduce to five and outdoor gatherings will reduce to a maximum group of ten.

  • Restaurants, pubs, auction halls, community halls, libraries, museums and places of worship will remain at a maximum of 20 people in any one area until 12 July.

Key points (Source:DHHS)
Current restrictions on gatherings at places of worship and ceremonies are:

  • Private Worship / ceremonies – Places of worship can open for private worship or small religious ceremonies for up to 20 people in each separate area.
     
  • Prayer Groups – Currently, up to 10 people can gather for a prayer group if the prayer group is held at a place of worship or another public place. A prayer group can meet if it is held in someone’s home as long as there are no more than five visitors
    in addition to the normal residents of the household.
     
  • Weddings – Up to 20 people, in addition to the celebrant and couple getting married, can attend a wedding. If a wedding is held in a private residence, it will be limited to the members of the household, five attendees, plus the celebrant.
  • Funerals – Up to 50 people can attend a funeral in addition to the person leading the funeral and other funeral staff. This applies to both indoor and outdoor funerals.  A funeral held in a private residence will be limited to the members of the household, five attendees, plus the person leading the funeral and other funeral staff.
     
  • As always, we are urging Victorians to use common sense when carrying out activities. If you feel unwell, you should stay at home. If you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, you should get tested. It’s up to all of us to make this work.
     
  • Social distancing (1.5m and 4sqm rule), cleaning. sanitising and hygiene and contact tracing requirements all apply.  

We understand this is disappointing for those of you who have spent significant time recently working towards returning to church gatherings under the 50 people rule.  The Premier has made these changes with public health and safety in mind and based on medical advice due to the increase in cases.  Please bear in mind, the work and plans you have made for gatherings of 50, will be used at some stage in the future and some areas may be opened up before others based on location of Coronavirus cases.  Until then, please heed the advice of the Premier and the Chief Medical Officer and remain doing what you have been over the last month or so with no more than 20 people in separate areas.

Updated ABC’s to COVIDSAFE

(Source: DHHS)  
The Victorian Government has announced the gradual easing of restrictions from 11:59pm on Sunday 21 June 2020. In line with the most up-to-date advice of the Chief Health Officer, we’ve updated the “ABCs to a COVIDsafe Australia” advice and latest FAQs below for your reference.

From 11:59pm on 21 June, places of worship can open for private worship or small religious ceremonies for up to 50 people in each separate space. Groups can be no larger than 20 people and be divided into separate areas.

The BUV has spoken to both DHHS and Business Victoria today to clarify this statement.  We have been advised that from Monday 22 June:

  • if you have a building that has completely separate areas (see notes re separate areas below)  – you can have 50 in each area- BUT within those separate areas you have to split into groups no larger than 20. Over this, the social distancing (1.5m social distancing and 4sqm rule) apply. 
      
  • So the area has to be big enough to accommodate 50 people with 4sqm rule – PLUS allow groups of 20 to be separated from each other – at this stage, DHHS cannot clarify how far apart each group of 20 needs to be from each other.  It is anticipated this information will be available by June 21 when the restrictions begin. 
     
  • You also need to consider what you can control – social distancing, sanitising, hygiene requirements, cleaning afterwards, contact tracing etc

Calculating your Church Capacity (Post 11.59pm June 21)

  1. Start with 4sqm rule  – calculate your space
  2. If your building area/space is 100sqm – you can have 25 people, divided into groups of no more than 20 people, with 1.5m distancing between households.
  3. If your building area/space is bigger than 200sqm – you can 50 people, divided into groups of no more than 20 with 1.5m distancing between households.
  4. If you have 2 (or more) areas/spaces bigger than 200sqm with different entry / exit points that are separate enough that you 2 groups of people won’t be able to mix (even in corridors, carparks etc)  – you can have 100 in total *  50 in each area, divided into groups of no more than 20 with 1.5m distancing between households. 
    *(or 50 per separate area)

    Note: Hygiene & Cleaning Requirements and Contact Tracing all need to be adhered to

What constitutes a separate area?  

Each separate area must be separated by permanent structures or be a discrete area of the premises that is sufficiently separated from any other area of the premises. Walls separating areas should either reach from floor to ceiling or be at least 2.1 metres high for the space to be considered sufficiently separate. Temporary structures should not be installed to create separate areas. Entry and exit points also need to be separate for each area with no common spaces used by more than 50 people.  Each separate enclosed area must not have a density of patrons greater than one per four square metres, and any more than 20* patrons at any one time.
(*50, broken into groups no more than 20 as of the advice given today by Business Victoria)

Updated ABC’s to COVIDSAFE
Ease of Restrictions – FAQ’s

Update 03 June 2020

BUV Bulletin – 03.06.20