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.
- Effective May 30, 2021, the total number of people participating in all worship services in Saskatchewan cannot exceed 30 per cent of seating capacity or 150 people, whichever is less.
- These guidelines apply to all worship services, including celebrations of life, weddings and outdoor ceremonies. However, these guidelines do not apply to receptions or non-ceremonial gatherings.
- Services must be held in their usual location. Concurrent services are permitted in other rooms in the facility, as long as the overall number does not exceed 30 for the entire facility. Graveside services not to exceed 30 people.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- For the purposes of contact tracing, places of worship are required to collect and maintain a list of people that are present within their facilities for any purposes. Contact details must include date, time, name, address, and phone number or email address.
- When collecting contact details, avoid the sharing of pens or other common touch instruments unless disinfected between each use.
- Contact registration lists must be maintained confidentially by the place of worship and destroyed after 30 days.
- Non-ceremonial meetings are permitted in groups no larger than 30 as long as physical distancing can be maintained.
- No food or beverage is allowed.
- No concurrent meetings or meetings taking place at the same time as worship services.
- Allow enough time for entry and exit, as well as cleaning and disinfection.
- Seating must be arranged so that two metres of physical distancing can be maintained between non-household members.
- Attendees to remain seated except for entering and exiting, as well as using the washroom.
- If tables are being used, there must not be more than four per table.
Source: Government of Saskatchewan, May 28, 2021