The Australian Christian Lobby is calling on the NSW Government to mirror for all religious gatherings its 1 June 2020 easing of COVID-19 restrictions for pubs, clubs, cafes and restaurants. From 1 June, hospitality venues can have up to 50 customers, but religious gatherings and places of worship can only have up to 10 in attendance.

“As wonderful as relaxing restrictions for businesses and the economy are, it is a grave oversight not to extend those eased conditions to places of worship. It doesn’t pass the ‘pub test’,” ACL NSW director Kieren Jackson said.

“Christians and adherents to other faiths are eager to be with each other again while exercising social distancing. Churches and other worship centres offer a free service supporting the spiritual, emotional and mental health of their adherents. Faith-based gatherings are also likely to involve the same people every week, making the tracing of any outbreaks far easier than with random customers in pubs, cafes and restaurants.

“It is frustrating that the government continues to limit places of worship to 10 people and require them to maintain tracing information when pubs et cetera are not. It really makes no sense.

“Community wellbeing would be enhanced by granting places of worship an equal footing with eating and drinking establishments. Man does not live on bread alone.”

ENDS