Guidelines for Accommodating Worship

  • Places of worship may resume services providing physical distancing of two metres can be maintained between each individual household.
  • Delivering services virtually or through remote delivery such as drive-in service is recommended.
  • All places of worship must reduce capacity to 30 people (not including clergy and staff), including wedding, funeral and baptismal services.
  • Services must be held in their usual location. Concurrent services in other rooms within the facility are not permitted.
  • No food and beverage may be present or served (food and beverage as part of a faith-based ceremony or ritual are not restricted).
  • To help ensure safety, individuals must be separated by two metres, unless they are part of the same household group.
  • These guidelines do not apply to receptions or non-ceremonial gatherings.
  • Where possible, registration of participants is encouraged to effectively manage the number of individuals attending. Registration should be facilitated to discourage attendees from common-use items such as pens and pencils.
  • Use visual cues to support physical distancing.
  • Implement one-way traffic flow to promote physical distancing (i.e. enter through one door and exit through another).
  • Attendees who are medically vulnerable are strongly encouraged to delay their return to services and continue to participate in services online, where possible.
  • Attendees, employees and volunteers are required to stay home if sick or symptomatic.
  • Places of worship will be required to identify measures by which entry and exit is managed to ensure physical distancing is maintained.
  • Promote physical distancing by marking the directional flow of people through buildings and areas. Mark seating areas and post visual reminders to observe physical distancing.
  • Individuals from the same household may be seated together and should remain in place once they are seated.
  • Seating (or designated worship space) must be arranged so that physical distancing can be observed at all times. Consideration must be given to how people enter and exit pews and other seating areas. A minimum of two metres must be maintained between household groups.
  • If multiple gatherings are held on a single day, the start and end times must allow those who attend one gathering to exit safely, avoiding contact with those arriving for the next gathering. Time is needed to clean and disinfect common surfaces between services. They must not be held concurrently.
  • Dismissal of gatherings should be done in a way that supports physical distancing.
  • All ancillary events, such as social events, should be postponed for the immediate future.
  • Where possible, consider managing parking lot assignments to ensure physical distancing is maintained.
  • Everyone in attendance at a place of worship must wear a mask except clergy members or religious leaders who are leading a service or ceremony while speaking from a podium, lectern, platform, stage, desk or other standing or seating area dedicated to speaking.
  • While unmasked and speaking, clergy members and religious leaders should increase their physical distance from others to at least three metres.

 

Source:  Government of Saskatchewan, January 20, 2021

 

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