Information updated 08 April 2021, 5.00pm

The following Guidelines are approved by Most Rev Peter A Comensoli, Archbishop of Melbourne, to assist Clergy and Faithful with questions pertaining to specific areas of liturgy and ministry in the Archdiocese of Melbourne during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In response to the directives announced by Government as part of its Roadmap for the reopening of the State of Victoria, the following is operational from 6.00pm Friday 26 March 2021.

The restrictions in place are compulsory as issued under lawful direction of the Chief Health Officer of Victoria, where a State of Emergency remains in place until 16 December 2021.

As of 6:00pm Friday 26 March 2021:

    • All people must carry a face covering when they leave home unless they have a lawful reason not to. Whilst it is not mandatory to wear a face covering indoors or outdoors it is strongly recommended that people wear a fitted face covering if the 1.5m personal distancing cannot be maintained.
    • Weddings, funerals and religious gatherings can occur with no limits on the number of guests or attendees, working within density limits. To ensure people can keep 1.5 metres distance the ‘venue’ must apply the two square metre rule. Anything conducted in a private home must apply the gathering limits for private homes.
    • Religious gatherings can be held indoors or outdoors.
    • Record keeping remains an important and critical tool for keeping all in the community safe.
    • On-site office work is no longer capped. Workers in the private and public sectors can return to work at 100 per cent capacity.
    • The limit on the number of people gathering in a household is 100 in one day, meaning the household members plus 100 visitors (excluding children under 12 months of age). There is no limit on the number of households those people come from. Front and backyards are considered part of the home.
    • Up to 200 people can gather outdoors in a public space (beaches, parks etc.) from any number of households. Infants under 12 months are not included in the cap.

    Under no circumstances should anyone awaiting a COVID-19 test verification, including Clergy (even without presenting symptoms) attend a church or parish setting until a diagnosis is confirmed. Additionally, under no circumstances should anyone attend who is closely connected to people who are awaiting test results or who have tested positive.

    Questions?

    Please email covid-19@cam.org.au or phone the COVID hotline (03) 9926 2469.

    A Prayer to St Joseph, the Great Protector

    You were receptive to God working in your life.
    Help us by your prayers at this time of trial.

    You kept Jesus and Mary under your watchful care:
    may your prayers assist our local Church to respond to those in need.

    You taught the Christ Child your trade and prayers:
    help us to follow his example of love.

    You were part of God’s plan for all humanity:
    assist us to be vigilant and responsible this day.

    You spent your life in service:
    may we be mindful of others, particularly the elderly and vulnerable, caring for them in these difficult days.

    You trusted in the clear primacy of God over all history and every situation: help us to grow in faith and pray to the Father, Thy will be done.
    Amen