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Further Notice re Alert Level 2
Further message on guidelines for Alert Level 2
Dear colleagues in ministry,
 
This linked notice from the Ministry of Health has just come through.
 
There are some things to note:
 
  1. The total number of people permitted to gather for a religious gathering is now 100 excluding people leading or working at the gathering. This change is in line with the principle applied for Funerals and will some significant change to very few of our congregations. So I am not going to make changes to our Detailed Guidelines on this matter at this stage, but we will deal with this on a parish by parish basis.
 
  1. Physical distancing: The last bullet point under the section “General” indicates that physical distancing is required for those leading and working at the gatherings.  There is no mention of this requirement being in place for the whole congregation. This runs counter to clear statements elsewhere in the Government Level 2 guidelines. So the Diocesan Guidelines will maintain the requirement that in Level 2, physical distancing of at least 1 meter applies to members of the congregation as well as those leading. To keep it simple we will not review this requirement again until we move to Level 1.
 
  1. The fourth bullet point under “Hygiene and Safety” indicates that refreshments may be available but to not share implements for eating or drinking. This is a development that is more relaxed than previous guidelines However the Diocese will continue with a cautious approach to refreshments for the next few weeks i.e. No refreshments.  At least until people are feeling more at ease with gathering again.
 
We will continue to monitor things as they come from the Government and we are still waiting for clarification around singing. I have been in contact with the Minister’s office again today on this matter.
 
Thank you for all you are doing to keep each other connected, well and safe.
 
Yours in Christ,
 
++Philip
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