Churches able to re-open from Monday 18 May

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Home > Media > News > Churches able to re-open from Monday 18 May
Churches able to re-open from Monday 18 May

Catholic churches in Tasmania are able to re-open from Monday 18 May, in line with the state government’s ‘Roadmap to Recovery’ plan, subject to public health advice.

“We will enter the first stage of lifting restrictions on Monday 18 May. Stage One of the easing of restrictions under the government’s Roadmap to Recovery Plan allows for up to 10 people (not including event or premises staff), to come together for religious gatherings”, said Archbishop Julian Porteous.

“This means that we can offer Mass and the Sacraments, albeit for only small numbers at a time. I am aware that every parish is unique and each priest is encouraged to make prudential decisions in providing for the spiritual and pastoral needs of the people in these unusual circumstances.”

Archbishop Porteous indicated that each parish will develop a booking system in order to regulate numbers at Mass and ensure fairness and transparency. The names and contact details of those visiting a church will be recorded, as required by the government, for contact tracing requirements.  Each parish will develop measures necessary to comply with the government’s COVID-19 Safe Workplace Guidelines.

Archbishop Porteous said churches will also be open for personal prayer at times determined by the parish priest. His Grace urged parishioners to ensure they practice social distancing and proper hygiene practices when visiting their local church.

“It is vitally important that if people have the slightest sense of being unwell they do not come to church,” His Grace said.

“The Church will continue to cooperate with government, and abide with health guidelines. We will continue to act responsibly by following all social distancing and hygiene measures.”

Archbishop Porteous suspended all public Masses in the Archdiocese of Hobart on 18 March due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Services from St Mary’s Cathedral have been live streamed to YouTube since 22 March. The live streaming of services is expected to continue.