Under Public Health Orders, you must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan for how your place of worship will keep your staff, volunteers and visitors safe.
You can either:
- use the COVID-19 Safety Plan: places of worship (PDF, 222.35 KB)
- develop your own plan to address the checklist of matters required on this page.
Updating your plan
You may need to update the plan in the future, as restrictions and advice changes.
The plan available on this page will always be the most recent.
If you have registered as a COVID Safe business online and you update your safety plan, you do not need to register again.
Checklist of matters to be addressed in your COVID-19 Safety Plan
- Exclude staff and congregants who are unwell from the premises.
- Provide staff with information and training on COVID-19, including when to get tested, physical distancing and cleaning.
- Make staff aware of their leave entitlements if they are sick or required to self-isolate.
- Display conditions of entry (website, social media, venue entry).
- Consider offering online services or alternative arrangements for people in high-risk categories (e.g. over 70 years).
- Ensure COVID-19 Safety Plans are in place, where relevant, for:
- Capacity must not exceed one customer per 4 square metres of space (excluding staff).
- The maximum number of people who may attend a funeral is one person per 4 square metres. If the service is held at a place of public worship, it can have up to 50 attendees (without the 4 square metre rule) provided non-household contacts can maintain 1.5 metres of physical distance.
- Move or remove tables and seating as required where possible. Household or other close contacts do not need to physically distance.
- Reduce crowding wherever possible and promote physical distancing.
- Where reasonably practical, ensure staff maintain 1.5 metres physical distancing at all times, including at meal breaks and in office or meeting rooms.
- Use telephone or video for essential meetings where practical.
- Review regular deliveries and request contactless delivery and invoicing where practical.
- Have strategies in place to manage gatherings that may occur immediately outside the premises, such as at the conclusion of services.
- Coordinate with public transport, where reasonably practical, around strategies to minimise COVID-19 risks associated with transportation to and from the venue if crowding on public transport may occur.
- Take measures to ensure drivers of courtesy vehicles minimise close contact with passengers where possible.
- High energy dance, as well as singing and wind instruments, can spread COVID-19 if a participant is infected. Additional planning around these activities should be undertaken from a work health and safety perspective, including ensuring 3 metres distance from the audience. Group singing or chanting is particularly high risk and so should continue to be avoided.
- Education programs should be conducted in accordance with the NSW Government guidelines on Schools and Childcare. Students do not need to follow strict adult physical distancing guidelines but should follow good hygiene practices. Staff should continue to maintain 1.5m physical distancing from students where practical.
- Adopt good hand hygiene practices.
- Ensure bathrooms are well stocked with hand soap and paper towels or hand dryers.
- Consider modifying religious rites or rituals to avoid direct contact where practical. Where this is not practical, ensure hands are washed before and after each interaction with soap and water or hand sanitiser.
- Avoid sharing books, drinking cups or other shared objects used during the service such as collection plates. Also consider putting barriers around frequently touched objects of worship, such as shrines, relics or fonts, to prevent people frequently touching these.
- Clean frequently used indoor hard surface areas (including children's play areas) at least daily with detergent or disinfectant. Clean frequently touched areas and surfaces several times per day.
- Disinfectant solutions need to be maintained at an appropriate strength and used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
- Staff are to wear gloves when cleaning and wash hands thoroughly before and after with soap and water.
- Keep a record of name and a mobile number or email address for all staff, volunteers, visitors and contractors for a period of at least 28 days. For households, one contact is sufficient to support contact tracing. Ensure records are used only for the purposes of tracing COVID-19 infections and are stored confidentially and securely.
- Make your staff aware of the COVIDSafe app and its benefits to support contact tracing if required.
Become a COVID Safe organisation
Download your COVID-19 Safety plan
Download, print and complete the COVID-19 Safety Plan: places of worship (PDF, 222.35 KB)
Register as a COVID Safe organisation
If you've completed and downloaded your COVID-19 Safety Plan, you can register your organisation as COVID Safe.
Last updated: 1 July 2020