Face masks now compulsory in places of worship

Following the announcement this morning by the Australian state government of New South Wales (NSW), wearing face masks is now compulsory in places of worship, along with a number of other locations and venues including on public transport across the state.

Given the general risk in on the Northern Beaches and across Greater Sydney (including Wollongong, Central Coast and Blue Mountains), the introduction of new measures is deemed required in order to reduce the transmission potential of COVID-19 while maintaining economic activity.

Whilst many have been wearing face masks as a precautionary measure, this is now in fact a compulsory and legal requirement in many indoor venues including cinemas, gaming areas as well as on public transport and for staff at hospitality venues, with failure to do so resulting in a $200 fine starting from Monday.

Where are face masks mandatory? Here are the rules for Greece
Restrictions for the northern zone of the Northern Beaches remain the same with stay at home orders in place until 9 January 2021;
  • no visitors to the home
  • five northern zone residents can gather outdoors (not at homes) for exercise and recreation, from within the same zone
  • non-essential businesses remain closed.

People are encouraged to limit non-essential gatherings and reduce their mobility where possible to further minimise the risk of transmission in the community.

Whilst these measures do not apply to areas outside Greater Sydney (including Wollongong, Central Coast and Blue Mountains), all residents and visitors across the State are urged by the government and health officials to practise COVID safe behaviours and get tested even if symptoms are mild.

The following measures for Greater Sydney (including Wollongong, Central Coast and Blue Mountains), including wearing face masks, are effective from midnight tonight;

  • Face masks will be mandatory in the following indoor settings: shopping (retail, supermarkets and shopping centres), public/shared transport, indoor entertainment (including cinemas and theatres), places of worship, hair and beauty premises. Face masks will also be mandatory for all staff in hospitality venues and casinos and for patrons using gaming services. Compliance will start from Monday 4 January 2021 with $200 on the spot fines for non-compliant individuals. Children under 12 are exempt but are encouraged to wear masks where practicable.
  • Gym class reduced to 30 people
  • Places of worship and religious services limited to 1 person per 4sqm up to a maximum of 100 people per seperate area
  • Outdoor performances and protests reduced to 500 people
  • Controlled, outdoor gatherings (seated, ticketed, enclosed) reduced to 2,000 people.
  • Nightclubs not permitted.

Weddings, funerals and memorial services 

Weddings, funerals and memorials, and gatherings after the services, will be limited to a maximum of 100 attendees, subject to the:

  • 1 person per 4 square metre rule for indoor areas; and
  • 1 person per 2 square metre rule for outdoor areas.
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