31st March 2020

BUV COVID-19 Advice (March)

Update 31 March 9:00pm

Stage 3: 2-Person Restriction (Volunteering allowed)

Please read the following in conjunction with advice on 30th March. 
Further to previous advice, further clarification has been sourced to indicate that volunteers are allowed to continue to work in your organisation. This would enable you to have sound and technical operators as part of your crew doing live streaming. See advice below.

Dr Annaliese van Diemen, Deputy Chief Health Officer (Communicable Diseases) has released more detailed instructions for Stage 3 stay at home restrictions.  These instructions as detailed here give us more clarity on who is allowed to be at ‘work’. She states that a person may leave the premises to attend work, (whether paid or voluntary, including for charitable purposes)

The DHS website FAQ also provides further clarification on this :

Can I leave my house to go to work?

Yes. If your work cannot be performed remotely, you can still go to work as usual, unless your employer has introduced other arrangements, such as working from home. When at the workplace, you should ensure the appropriate physical distancing and sanitisation measures. 

Can I leave my house to do volunteering work?

Yes. Unpaid work can continue to be done while the organisation you are volunteering for is still operating, however, if the volunteer work can be done remotely at home it should be. You should also maintain appropriate physical distancing and sanitisation measures.

See Job seeker and Finance advice below 


Updated 31 March 2020 5:00pm

Stage 3: 2-Person Restriction
The Prime Minster announced on 29th March, echoed by the Premier of Victoria on 30th March, new restrictions to public gatherings. The Premier has also confirmed that we have now moved to Stage 3 restrictions as of 11:59pm, 30th March. 

National Cabinet agreed to limit both indoor and outdoor gatherings to two persons only. Exceptions to this limit include:

  • People of the same household going out together;
  • Funerals – a maximum of 10 people; 
  • Wedding – a maximum of 5 people;
  • Family units. 

View statements here 
The PM statement from 29th March  
Premier statement from 30th March

Victoria Police has been given the power to issue on-the-spot fines of up to $1,652 for individuals and up to $9,913 for businesses who don’t follow the rules.

The 2 person gathering rule has implications for our online church services. Even though church staff are ‘working’ when live streaming or pre-recording a service, it is also important to consider the perceptions we portray. We think you can treat this like the wedding restrictions – 5 people max involved. But it is our responsibility to show we are also complying with the regulations and for this reason, we recommend max 2 people on screen at a time.  If you are pre-recording, you can do multiple segments with 1 or 2 people filmed at different times. Sound and technical operators can be in addition but please adhere to the  4 sqm rule and social distancing guidelines. Volunteers can be involved.  Online church with 2 person gathering restrictions

Church Finances – updated
In this update:
– JobKeeper Payment Scheme
– Government help for your Church
– Government help for individuals
– Church action

Church Finances Advice


Update 27 March 2020 11:00am


Click on the link below for this week’s BUV COVID-19 updates:

  • Greetings from the DOMM, Rev Daniel Bullock
  • God is bigger than the virus
  • Prayer initiatives 
  • Government restrictions – places of worship and social distancing restrictions
  • Updated Resources 
  • Adaptive Leadership  – Creative ways of connecting with church and community
  • Tell us your stories 
  • May Gathering Cancelled – Alternate plan 
  • BUV Support Hub here for you  
Weekly BUV COVID-19 Advice (27 March 2020)


Update 25 March 2020 8:00am

Further Social Distancing restrictions
After meeting with the National Cabinet yesterday, the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, announced further restrictions last night aimed at reducing the spread of Coronavirus. Click here for his statement 

Summary points: 

  • The highest priority should be placed on social isolation measures as well as strict and rapid contact tracing of individuals.
  • All other previous restrictions still stand 
  • Australians should stay at home, unless shopping for essentials, travelling to and from work – where you cannot work from home, going to school and exercising.
  • Keep visitors to your home at a minimum – no groups, functions, parties, extended family celebrations etc. 
  • In outdoor spaces do not congregate in groups – no more than immediate family   
  • Prohibited activities and venues to apply from 11.59pm (local time) 25 March 2020 includes Places of worship. Exceptions to this are for:
    • Weddings with a maximum attendance of no more than 5 people and where the 1 person per 4 square metre rule applies.
    • Funerals attended by a maximum of no more than 10 people and where the 1 person per 4 square metre rule applies.

The Victorian Premier’s State regulations also apply from 23rd March when he announced a Stage 1 shutdown of all non-essential activity across our state to combat the spread of Coronavirus.  See Premier’s statement here

For answers to questions like – Can I still live stream my church service, how to hold members meetings, can my staff go to work at the church, etc,  please click blue button below.  This document will be updated as more questions arise. 

Frequently Asked Questions on places of worship shutdown

Update 23 March 2020 5:00pm

Government Stage 1 Shut down requirements 
The BUV encourages churches to take actions recommended by both the  Victorian State Government Department of Health  and the Australian Government Department of Health to reduce the risk of transmission.

The Victorian Government announced today the Stage 1 shut down of non-essential activities which includes places of worship, gyms, indoor sporting venues, cinemas and entertainment venues. This means that all church gatherings and activities should be suspended until further noticeSee the Premier’s statement here.

 The Australian Government states that
“The following facilities are restricted from opening from midday local time 23 March 2020: Religious gatherings, places of worship or funerals (in enclosed spaces and other than very small groups and where the 1 person per 4 square metre rule applies).”

Thank you for respecting the regulations regarding the shut down. In these unprecedented times, our BUV support hub is here for you. As the body of Christ, we now have an opportunity to serve more than ever, by providing care, love and hope to Pastors and Church leaders.  If you need advice, support, to ask questions or just to chat with someone, please reach out to a staff member. Calls and emails to the BUV phone numbers as detailed below, will be forwarded to the appropriate team members who will respond as soon as possible. We value your patience as we work hard to provide you with our high level of support and service whilst also implementing appropriate health and safety measures for our staff.

BUV Support Hub Contact details 

Remember to check our dedicated BUV Coronavirus Resources Page that will be updated regularly with the latest information and materials that can help you connect with your congregation and community during the shutdown.


Covid-19 Church Resources
Please join us in prayer for our nation
Prayer – Chinese
Click here for Part 1 of our Unprecedented Love devotion series

Email comms@buv.com.au if you would like us to add details of your church’s online services to our Online Baptist Church services website page

Online Baptist Church Services
Click here to see ideas for Financial leaders

Update 20 March 2020 3:10pm

New Government Requirements for Indoor Gatherings

Prime minister, Scott Morrison has just announced new social distancing requirements for indoor gatherings  – For gatherings of fewer than 100 people in an enclosed space, the Government is now recommending four square metres per person.

Related Posts