Gethin Rhys, Policy Officer of Cytûn, has just published the following update on the latest position on COVID-19 as it affects places of worship – which we gratefully plagiarise.
At 6 pm tomorrow, Friday 4 December, revised Regulations will come into force in Wales. The Regulations have not yet been published, but two statements have been made – one regarding restricting hospitality venues and closing some indoor entertainment, heritage and cultural venues and another on relaxing some travel restrictions.
Cytûn is not expecting major changes to the Regulations regarding places of worship or community centres, but churches should note:
- The restrictions on hospitality cover cafes in places of worship – including their use to provide refreshments free of charge. Food and drink may not be served after 6 pm, and alcohol (including mulled wine!) may not be served at any time. Welsh Government guidance has yet to be updated, but there is a handy Government synopsis available here and UK Hospitality Wales has produced its own detailed guidance.
- The closure of heritage sites will apply to historic places of worship, but they can continue to operate as places of worship.
- People may travel legally for worship to and from Tier 1 and 2 areas in England and Scotland, but the Welsh Government continues to advise against such travel. It is not possible to travel to or from Tier 3 areas in England or Scotland for worship, other than to attend a wedding or funeral by invitation.
- The guidance on visiting hospitals has been updated.