Today, 1 June, the Church of England updated its Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for churches, as follows:
“WHEN SCHOOLS RE-OPEN CAN CHURCH BUILDINGS BE USED BY SCHOOLS AS A PLACE OF WORSHIP OR GATHERING?
No, current government guidance does not permit this to happen.
CAN NURSERIES AND EARLY YEARS CHILDCARE PROVISION OPERATE IN CHURCHES?
Yes, as of 1 June, places of worship may open for early years childcare provided by a person registered on the Early Years Register under Part 3 of the Childcare Act 2006. For more information see the DfE website.
Early Years provision in church halls or other buildings not designated places of worship is also permitted, subject to the same rules as other school and nursery settings.
Places of Worship must continue to meet all existing health and safety obligations with regard to ensuring that their premises are safe for providers to hire and to operate from. Once Early Year providers reopen and are operating from premises in Community Settings and Places of Worship, it is for the early years provider to ensure that they are following government guidance on implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings, as well as all existing requirements set out in the statutory framework for the EYFS.