Rev. Gethin Rhys of Cytûn’s latest update regarding reopening places of worship.
Welsh Government has issued a statement today about relaxing the Covid-19 restrictions over the coming three weeks: https://gov.wales/written-statement-review-health-protection-coronavirus-restrictions-wales-regulations-2020There are a number of matters of relevance to churches: From Monday 13 July the following sectors and businesses will be able to open, subject to following guidance about coronavirus-safe ways to operate:…
- Indoor visitor attractions…,
- Places of worship. Faith leaders can begin to gradually resume services when they are ready to do so safely.
We are making changes to the regulations to allow larger gatherings outdoors of up to 30 people where these are organised and supervised by a responsible person. This will allow sports and leisure activities, such as fitness and dance classes, to take place outdoors, as well as collective worship. This will include charities, businesses, and sports clubs and a risk assessment will need to be carried out.In the second week, from 20 July, we will remove the current restrictions on playgrounds and outdoor gyms. These will reopen gradually over the following weeks as and when safety checks and other measures are put in place. We will also publish guidance to support community centres to restart more public services at the discretion of local authorities. This will enable them to operate in a coronavirus-safe way.This should have positive impacts by expanding valuable public services in the community, including supporting safeguarding efforts to respond to the many problems that sadly may have been hidden or exacerbated during lockdown. One such vital service is that delivered by voluntary and local authority youth work services. We are working closely with young people and the sector to develop specific guidance to support their wider re-opening and this will follow shortly thereafter. Re-opening community centres will also help local authorities provide summer holiday play schemes and childcare.The next formal review is of the regulation is due by 30 July. We are already having detailed discussions with industry about how indoor hospitality [including cafés] can operate in a coronavirus-safe way. We are considering this for reopening from 3 August, subject to the conditions and measures in place. I am well aware that these bald announcements raise more questions than they answer. We are expecting that detailed guidance will be published regarding places of worship over the weekend, and regarding community centres within the following few days. We will inform you by email when that happens and will update the Cytûn website as soon as possible. Welsh Government has arranged an online Q&A session for faith communities, and here are the details:
We would like to invite you our second on-line Question and Answer session regarding the re-opening of places of worship on Thursday 16 July from 15:00 to 16:00. This session will be jointly chaired by Welsh Government and Cytun (Churches Together in Wales) and will give you an opportunity to raise any questions you may have about the process of re-opening.
To get the most of our time together, should you wish to do so, you can send any questions you may have in advance of this on-line session to EqualityBranch@gov.wales