Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance


elim.org.uk/coronavirus

A summary of the latest guidance

Following the advice for re-opening places of worship provided by the UK governmentand respective devolved administrations in Northern Ireland, ScotlandWales , Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, we are continuing to review and update guidance for our churches and ministers. 

We are still in a phase where there is a cautious approach as restrictions to limit the transmission of Covid-19 are progressively eased in each region.

Public safety, both individual and community, remains paramount. It is still vital that the necessary hygiene and social distancing precautions are kept in place in order to protect the NHS and save lives. Individuals are encouraged to follow the guidance issued by the government and NHS

COVID-19 Vaccines - FAQs, papers, videos and resources

More detailed advice and resources are available for all Elim leaders and ministers on ElimNET.

ENGLAND  19 July 2021

    Step 4 - what you can do

England has moved to Step 4 of the roadmap. Everyone should be cautious while managing the risks as cases of COVID-19 remain high.

    Churches

From 19 July, the rules for places of worship have changed. COVID-19 will be a feature of our lives for the foreseeable future, so we need to learn to live with it and manage the risk to ourselves and others. Venue managers should follow this guidance issued by the government and when applied appropriately it will help us all to stay safe and protect others by controlling the spread.

    Weddings

There are no legal restrictions on the number of people that can attend a wedding, reception or celebration.

    Funerals

There are no legal limits on the number of people who can attend funerals or commemorative events. 

    Baptismals

Full immersion in water is allowed.

    Youthwork

From 6 September, the youth sector moved to GREEN in the readiness framework and the NYA guidance has been updated.

    Kids work

Within places of worship, Children’s groups are directed to follow the ‘Out of school setting’ and ‘Early year guidance’ guidelines.

    Singing, face coverings and physical distancing

Social distancing and wearing a face covering are now a personal choice. People are encouraged to respect other attendees and those working who may wish to adopt a more cautious approach.

The government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas, so for those who are able, we recommend that people continue wearing face coverings in church buildings. It would be reasonable to continue social distancing in your building at approximately 1 metre.

There are no limits on the number of people who can sing or perform indoors or outdoors. If you are meeting indoors the best things to mitigate the risk from singing are ventilation, face coverings and social distancing.

    Workplace guidelines

The government issued sector-by-sector guidance for the workplace on how businesses should reduce the risk of COVID-19 for staff and customers in England from 19 July. These various guides cover offices, shops and events that can be used by churches assessing their step 4 plans for employees and volunteers.

WALES  4 AUGUST 2021

      Level 0 - what you can do

Wales moveed to a newly created alert level 0 on 7 August, though face coverings will continue to be required by law in most indoor public places.

    Churches

Places of worship are able to open for communal worship at all alert levels. Wherever possible we still advise that people avoid congregating with people they do not live with. The number who can attend continues to be guided by the size and layout of the building.

    Weddings

Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies, celebrations and functions are permitted. If the ceremony is taking place in a place of worship, face coverings are required when entering or exiting the building. The legal requirement to wear a face covering during an act of worship has been removed, however it is still strongly advised.

    Funerals

Marriages and funerals are permitted at all levels. The number who can attend continues to be guided by the size and layout of the building.

    Baptismals

Full immersion in water is permitted and should be very carefully planned following the guidance.

    Youthwork

Permitted with precautions.

   Kids work

Permitted with precautions.

    Face coverings and singing

Everyone over the age of 11 is required to wear a face covering and wearing of visors does not meet the requirements. Congregational singing is now permitted behind face coverings following a review the church Risk Assessment, taking into account all of the mitigations and concerns raised in the singing section of guidance for Places of Worship.

    Physical distancing

The legal requirement is that all reasonable measures are taken to ensure a distance of 2 metres is kept between those attending.

SCOTLAND  27 AUGUST 2021

    What you can do

Scotland has moved out of the levels system. There are no longer be any limits in law on numbers of people at gatherings or physical distancing, indoors or outdoors.

    Churches

Churches can hold worship services with unlimited numbers of people with no need to enact physical distancing between households. 

    Weddings

There are no limits on the number of people who can attend weddings and funerals. This is also the case for other life events such as christenings, anniversary celebrations.

    Funerals

There are no limits on the number of people who can attend weddings and funerals. This is also the case for other life events such as christenings, anniversary celebrations.

    Baptismals

Where full immersion is a necessary part of a ritual or ceremony.

    Youthwork

Youth work providers should follow the Coronavirus (COVID-19): universities, colleges and community learning and development providers guidance. This will be kept up to date in line with any new announcements

    Kids work

Where a place of worship is providing activities for children they will need to determine which guidance is most relevant for the activity they are organising.

    Face coverings and singing

Under the Regulations everyone in a place of worship is required to wear a face covering a face covering, unless an exemption applies. Congregational singing is permitted  following a review the church Risk Assessment. Face coverings are not required to be worn by those leading congregational singing.

    Physical distancing

There is now no legal requirement for physical distancing and no limit on the numbers of people who can gather together to socialise.

N IRELAND  26 JULY 2021

    What you can do

A summary guide outlining what the coronavirus (COVID-19) Health Protection regulations from 5 July 2021.

    Churches

Places of worship are permitted to open for acts of worship. However, the numbers attending must be determined by a risk assessment.

    Weddings

Numbers attending ceremonies in places of worship, a local government venue, or other venues such as hotels, are decided by risk assessment for the venue specific to a marriage ceremony.

    Funerals

The number permitted to attend funerals in places of worship, funeral homes, the City of Belfast Crematorium or at a burial ground is to be informed by a risk assessment for the venue.

    Baptismals

Where full immersion in water is necessary as part of a ritual, this should be very carefully planned. Those being immersed should be at least two metres away from the congregation and officiant at all times, except while they are being immersed.

    Youthwork and children

New easements come into effect on 2 August 2021. Guidance provided remains subject to change, this can include additional easements or the reintroduction of restrictions based on NI Executive Guidance.

    Face coverings and singing

Face coverings must be worn inside the building and when entering and exiting. This does not apply to the person leading worship or to a couple who are at a ceremony to solemnise their marriage. Communal singing should be avoided if possible, even if social distancing is being observed and face coverings are used.

    Physical distancing

Worshippers should stay at least two metres apart and should not have close contact with anyone outside of their household or support bubble.