Weddings, funerals and worship

What can I do?

Places of Worship

  • From 12 noon on Friday 19 June 2020, places of worship and religious ceremonies can have up to 100 people (including church leaders and others involved in the services or ceremonies) or one person per 4 square metres, whichever is lesser.
  • Choirs or musicians can perform, and are to be included in the 100-person limit.

Weddings

  • From 12 noon on Friday 19 June 2020, wedding ceremonies can have up to 100 people (excluding those conducting the service or assisting in the conduct of the wedding) or one person per 4 square metres, whichever is lesser.
  • Wedding celebrations should be held in accordance with rules for the hospitality sector.

Funerals

  • From 12 noon on Friday 19 June 2020, funerals can have up to 100 mourners or one person per 4 square metres, whichever is lesser.

What can’t I do?

Places of Worship

  • If a COVID Safety Plan isn’t in place, gatherings will need to remain at a maximum of 20 people with one person per 4 square metres.

What are my responsibilities?

Places of Worship

  • Places of worship must have a COVID Safety Plan if they wish to increase gatherings up to 100 people or one person per 4 square metres, whichever is lower.  Guidance has been developed to assist with the development of these plans.
  • Carefully manage the entry, exit and flow of people through the premises.
  • Places of worship (excluding for funerals and weddings) should seek first name and contact number voluntarily in a visitors book.
  • Physical distancing of 1.5 metres between each group or household is required.
  • Increase the frequency of cleaning for high touch areas and restroom facilities.
  • The use of collection plates should be avoided during services.
  • Limit the use of books, if possible. If not, ensure they are cleaned between each use.
  • Try to keep to a minimum number of choir members or musicians in each service, and they should remain physically distanced from the congregation or audience. There should also be 1.5 metres of distance between each member of the choir or band.

Weddings and Funerals

  • Wedding and funeral organisers must keep a record of the names and contact numbers of individuals attending. Details can be safely destroyed after 28 days.
  • Develop a COVID Safety Plan.

What are the community responsibilities?

  • Avoid gathering in communal areas.
  • Maintain physical distancing of 1.5 metres from other people.
  • Maintain personal hygiene, including regular hand washing.
  • Stay home if unwell.
  • Get tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms.

What does the public need to know?

  • Restrictions are easing but your responsibility hasn’t.
  • Continue to practise good hand and respiratory hygiene, physical distancing, stay home if you are unwell and get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19.
  • You should also download the COVIDSafe app and ensure you provide your first name and contact number to any businesses that are required to ask for contact tracing purposes.
  • Be sensible when you have people over at your residence and have your own control measures in place. Know who is there and at what times, download the COVIDSafe app, join Flu Tracker and participate in important YourSay Community Panel engagements and health surveys that will help the ACT respond the best that it can.

Am I able to have a wedding reception following the ceremony?

Yes.

Any indoor or outdoor reception must adhere to the ACT’s restrictions on public gatherings and/or hospitality venues and function spaces.

Am I able to have a wake following the funeral service?

Yes.

Any indoor or outdoor event must adhere to the ACT’s restrictions on public gatherings and/or hospitality venues and function spaces.

Why do places of worship need to develop a COVID Safety Plan?

Public gatherings for places of worship have increased.  If gatherings of more than 20 people are planned, the Public Health Directions require places of worship to develop a COVID Safety Plan to assist in minimising the risk of transmission of the disease.  This is because larger gatherings present a greater risk.

A COVID Safety Plan checklist and guidance document has been developed to assist places of worship to develop their Plans.

acknowledgement icon
Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the ACT, the Ngunnawal people. We acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region.

Last Updated: June 19 2020