Today, Monday 7 December 2020, saw a significant easing in the COVID-19-related restrictions applicable within New South Wales for places of public worship (i.e. our church buildings). Without dismissing the continuing risk COVID-19 is to our community, the NSW Government has decided that it is now appropriate to significantly relax the requirements necessary to be observed.
In welcoming the relaxation of restrictions, we remain vigilant and disciplined in observing our moral and legal obligation towards our brothers and sisters. We will continue to do those things we need to do to prevent another outbreak or further spread of COVID-19.
I take the opportunity to thank you for your cooperation during these difficult times and look forward to celebrating with you once more.
Fr Andrew Doohan
Easing Taking Effect 7 December
A new Public Health Order has been gazetted to give effect to the announcement by the NSW Government. The limit on the number of persons who can be present in the Cathedral is now calculated solely by allowing 2 square metres per person.
The size of the Cathedral building means that we are able to have up to 221 persons, which limit applies to all Masses and other liturgical celebrations except for funerals. This limit also applies to the Cathedral's availability for private prayer.
Opening Hours of the Cathedral
The Cathedral will continue to be open from approximately 8am until approximately 5pm each day. You are welcome to attend the Cathedral during these hours for private prayer or a time of silence.
Although the number of persons who can be in the Cathedral has increased, there is still a requirement for the collection of contact details for those who attend any liturgical celebration in the Cathedral (e.g. Mass, Weddings, Funerals, Baptisms, etc.). Each person who is attending Mass or another event in the Cathedral is obliged to provide their contact details - full name, phone number or email address, and time of arrival - when they enter the Cathedral.
The Government has indicated a preference for collecting this information via electronic methods. To that end, the Cathedral entrance has a poster for that permits the use of either the ServiceNSW QR Code or the Signin.com.au QR Code. We also provide paper forms for those who don't have access to a smart phone or prefer not to use the electronic method to provide their contact details.
It is important that those who come to the Cathedral continue to observe the necessary physical distancing requirements (1.5 metres from those who are not part of the same household) at all times whilst in the Cathedral. Other requirements around cleaning, refraining from physical acts of devotion, avoiding gatherings outside the Cathedral, etc., remain in place and should be carefully observed.
While there has been some relaxation in the required liturgical adaptations that are necessary to be observed, they have not been completely withdrawn. It is important that these adaptations continue to be observed for the foreseeable future.
Because of the need to ensure health and safety, the previously advised adaptations to the celebration of Masses and other liturgical celebrations will continue to be observed.