We are at Alert Level 4 from midnight 17 August 2021 provisionally until 11.59 pm on Tuesday 31 March. While Church buildings are temporarily closed, the Church as the people of God continues. The main message is to save lives, stay at home...
We are aligning ourselves with advice-resources from Government sources. This is an evolving situation: we need to be aware of best practice but also not become alarmed or stressed, as we continue to put our trust in Christ and be agents of calm and reassurance in our communities.
Ours is the crucified God. Jesus himself cried out from the cross. We feel and lament. We hope and so reach out in solidarity and care. We seek not to explain or reason, but trust and work out together how our hope leads us towards life-giving responses.
Our current advice is aimed at making sure that we can play our part in eliminating COVID-19.
We are operating under the Government alert system and are currently at Level 4 i.e. Eliminate.
We are following directives which require everyone to stay at home. Churches are hosting online services and events, as well as resourcing families and households with their own ministry activities. Gathered church services may be live streamed and recorded (we will update you when we find out more), with churches also engaging their parishioners via many other mediums. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide regular updates.
Currently all planned gatherings in person (worship services, small group meetings in person, Synods and so on), have been postponed. This will continue to be the case also for Level 3. Please watch this space for updates.
Directions for churches: Liturgical practice, hospitality, pastoral care, church activity groups and church office areas.
All of our current advice are on our Frequently Asked Questions page for levels Four and Three.
Key points for all of us:
- Stay at home.
- Wash and dry your hands. Wash often. Use soap. 20 seconds. Then dry. This kills the virus by bursting its protective bubble. Use a sanitiser if running water not immediately available.
- Be kind. Make a difference by checking-in on others, especially the elderly and vulnerable.
- Look after anyone that needs help. Drop supplies to those at home sick and ensure you have no physical contact.
- Maintain a distance of 2 metres with anyone outside your immediate household and wear a face covering if you are leaving your house (e.g. if you are going for a breath of fresh air outside). Use the phone, a video messaging system or something similar to stay in touch.
You legally must wear a face covering:
- on flights
- on public transport
- In taxis or ride-shares
- in bus terminals
- in businesses providing essential services (supermarkets, chemists, service station forecourts)
The Ministry of Health recommends that you should follow the usual precautions including:
- If you feel unwell, remain at home, use Healthline’s dedicated 0800 number for COVID-19 health advice and information (0800 358 5453). If you have any cold or flu type symptoms, contact your General Practice as you may be required to undergo testing for the COVID-19 virus.
- Avoid close contact with people with cold or flu-like illnesses.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing.
- Wash hands for at least 20 seconds with water and soap and dry them thoroughly:
- before eating or handling food
- after using the toilet
- after coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose or wiping children’s noses
- after caring for sick people.
Anyone who has returned to New Zealand from overseas must abide by NZ government requirements. Currently this is to remain at a Government organised quarantine facility. This involves self-isolating by staying indoors and avoid contact with other people for 14 days from the date of arrival and then follow the lock down procedures until advised otherwise.
Want to know more? See the Government's dedicated COVID-19 webpage
For more information, see the documents attached below
The Diocesan office is very happy to answer any queries you may have. Please contact Andrew Metcalfe .