The Welsh Government announced that further relaxations would be brought forward from 17 May to 3 May, when Wales moved to Coronavirus Alert Level 3. A version of The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No. 5) (Wales) Regulations 2020, as subsequently amended, issued by the Welsh Government is here. Under Schedule 3, which is now in operation, the most significant change in relation to places of worship is that community centres are now permitted to open for an extended range of activities – and this applies to community activities in places of worship.
Although the fully-revised Welsh Government guidance for community centres and places of worship has yet to be published, the Welsh Government has asked Cytûn to emphasise that the reopening does not allow community centres or places of worship to host activities that are not permitted elsewhere.
So the following are not allowed:
- Serving refreshments indoors (except for wedding receptions or funeral teas/wakes for up to 15 people – 30 outdoors – see below). For now, therefore, tea, coffee or other refreshments should not be offered as part of any other activity arranged indoors.
- Singing, with the exception of organised singing or music groups under the arrangements outlined here.
- Entertainment, such as operating as a cinema, bingo hall, bowling centre, indoor play area, gambling, theatre or concert hall.
- Indoor visitor attraction, including operating as a museum or art gallery.
The numbers that may attend activities in a community centre are limited to 15 indoors and 30 outdoors (not counting those who are working or providing voluntary service by arranging or leading the event, and children under 11). This upper limit is not applied to organised activities for children under 18 (age as of 31 August 2020). The usual arrangements regarding risk-assessment, cleaning, distancing, face-coverings, hygiene, etc are all still applicable.
A number of relevant Welsh Government guidance documents have been updated, including:
- Organised activities for children and young people up to 18 years of age. This includes activities such as Sunday Schools and similar. The following guidance regarding dancing and singing should be noted: where activities include dancing, using dance moves that avoid direct contact or practise individual skills. When singing ensuring face to face singing is avoided, even where social distancing is maintained. Singing should take place outdoors where possible.
- Registered and unregistered child care.
- Performing arts, including music and singing groups.
- Funerals (including funeral teas).
- Weddings and civil partnerships – note that most of this guidance relates to the reception etc, but there is also guidance regarding holding the ceremony.
[With thanks to the Revd Gethin Rhys and Cytûn.]