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Covid-19 Response Plan

Support Information

At All Times

Practice kindness

This is a time of stress for all of us and some of us cope better than others.
Be kind with your words and actions.
Consider what other people are going through.

And be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving each other, just as God also in Christ forgave you.         Ephesians 4:32

Good Hygiene - Helping Others

The most important thing those of us who are not infected can do is to reduce the strain on the health system. We can do this two ways:

1.    Not getting sick with any other bugs:

  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with water and soap and dry them thoroughly, regularly throughout the day.
  • Try not to touch your face or rub your eyes
  • Use hand sanitiser if hand washing not available or on exiting or entering public spaces
    [Soap is useful for viruses with a fatty exterior like COVID-19,
    hand sanitiser is good for other bugs, but needs a very high alcohol content to kill COVID-19]

2.    Not transmitting any other bugs we may have:

  • Staying home at the first sign of illness in you or your dependents
  • Sneeze into your elbow
  • Use tissues for nose-blowing, only once, and dispose of in rubbish bin
  • Avoid the following: shaking hands, hongi, hugging, or otherwise touching the faces or hands of people you are not living with
  • Maintain physical distancing and wear facemasks if you have to go out. 

Vaccine Passes

The Methodist Church of New Zealand fully supports the ongoing vaccination programmes and strongly encourages everyone to become vaccinated. The Church encourages you to support those who are still on their journey to get a vaccine pass.

  • Open a conversation to share concerns and to discuss barriers.
  • Provide the means to reduce or remove barriers where possible.
  • Avoiding confrontation regarding vaccine passes

    Hopefully, asking someone to leave can be done without confrontation. There are some options, but the best option is to have a conversation before escalating to other options (with a polite request to stay out).

    Closing the activity down, closing the building down

    "We can't stop you from coming inside, but if you insist, we will close the service and send everybody home".

    Remove the reason why the person wants to enter the building. This may mean:

    • ending the worship session, or the group activity, or
    • asking everyone to exit the building and then closing the building

    Alternative options – we have more to offer than our buildings

    One parish has elected to provide a hamper to whomever they deny immediate building access. The hamper contains food for both the body and soul and a promise of pastoral contact for conversation and care.


    However, if a person refuses to leave, a person with authority from the parish council (such as a steward) should warn them to leave and make clear that the warning is given under the Trespass Act 1980.

    They could use words to the effect of "The occupier of this place authorises me to warn you to leave, and if you refuse to do so, you may be committing an offence under the Trespass Act 1980. You must leave immediately."

    Further details on how to trespass.


    If a person continues to refuse to leave, or there is any risk of harming anyone, police may be called.

    Further wise words (courtesy of the Anglican Church of New Zealand)

    These two documents are a good read and are a recommended resource for discussions within your teams on how to be thoughtful if people become agitated or upset.

    Keeping Calm and Safe
    Tips for de-escalation

  • Building entry posters

    Download Government branded posters, or order some printed posters in various sizes.

    In addition:

    We are Church, but we are more than our buildings.

    We protect the most vulnerable for the common good, providing dignity and inclusion and complementary services to what we provide within our facilities. Therefore we need additional signage that provides that information.

    Additional building signage

  • Building use by others - room/building hire wording

    Have the conversation with other existing building users and inform them that vaccine passes are a condition of use for the building, and they must verify vaccine passes among their group.

    Change room hire agreements to reflect using vaccine passes. Use the following suggestion, or legal advice may be sought.

    "It is a condition of building use that vaccine passes are used. It is the responsibility of the organiser or hirer to control entry to the building by verifying that all their attendees have a valid vaccine pass, either sighting the passes or verifying them using the NZ Pass Verifier app.

    Contrary behaviour to these requirements will result in the withdrawal of permission to use these buildings."

    It is advised that parishes arrange for ongoing compliance with either spot checks or a signed declaration from the group organiser at every building use.

  • Commercial Premises

    It is up to each tenant to decide to use vaccine passes or not. If you share premises with other tenants, then hold a building meeting to agree on managing the building.

    If one tenant is unwilling to use vaccine passes, they cannot be forced. At this stage it is highly unlikely that any tenancy agreements have a clause that tenants must use vaccine passes. Any such clause is likely to be a variation to the tenancy agreement, and must be treated as such.

  • Every six months

    To save time in the future and with the person's permission, you may record that you have sighted valid vaccine passes on your attendance or registration lists, and then you don't have to check those passes for another six months.

    In six months, you will need to verify that people have a current vaccine pass. 

  • Getting a vaccine pass

    Log on to MyCovidRecord to request an electronic vaccine pass.

    • Phone the Ministry of Health on 0800 222 478 to request vaccine pass be sent by post
    • In-person at a pharmacy that provides Covid-19 vaccinations. 

    Read more on how to access your vaccine pass.

    Please help others access their vaccine pass if they don't have online or email access.

  • Inform people of building use protocols - parish events and gatherings

    Include the vaccine pass requirements in all advertising and notifications.

    Make sure that door stewards, ushers and front line people are aware and comfortable with the new checking processes. Ensure they have a support system on the day (and perhaps pastoral care afterwards). Provide an additional script and a vaccine pass example (both on a phone and hardcopy) to be familiar with what a pass looks like.

    "Kia ora. Welcome! Today we will be sighting vaccine passes before we enter the chapel..."


  • Privacy

    You must only use any personal information accessed by the app following the Privacy Act 2020. Read more on Privacy principles.

    Only use the app in compliance with current Orders. Users may not collect or use information about the pass presenter, via the app, for any unrelated purpose.

    The app retains no identifiable information about the user of the device or the Pass.

    Do not record or keep any vaccine pass details unless you have specific permission.

  • Transition age: 12 years and 3 months old

    People aged younger than 12 years and 3 months do not require a vaccine pass and may attend activities that require vaccine passes.
    • People older than 12 years and 3 months must wear facemasks if they can.
    • Use your judgement about a person's age, or ask their significant adult.
  • When to check vaccine passes

    Check passes before allowing entry or service

    You must sight all vaccine passes, and
    use the NZ Pass verifier app on some.

    Check at building/activity entry or before you serve someone, for example, seated at a table or a counter. Please don't take it for granted that people have a vaccine pass, and there is no need to keep records from anyone's vaccine pass.

  • Who should have/who should check vaccine passes

    Who should have a pass Who should check the pass
    People in active ministry (lay and ordained)

    Tauiwi: Synod Superintendents
    Te Taha Maori: Keita Hotere 

    Please contact the General Secretary if you have any concerns to raise with the Pastoral Committee.

    Volunteers Parish council
    Event host, activity organiser
    Groups Event host, group organiser
    Church members Door stewards/ushers/greeters
    Event host, activity organiser
    Paid staff* Employer
    People on church premises such as contractors and regular courier drivers (occasional courier drivers can 'drop and run' with their deliveries). On-site staff or parish officers
    Funeral attendees Funeral director
    Wedding attendees Bride and Groom (inform people before the day)
    Ushers (on the day)

    *Employment processes surround our paid staff, and we have a duty to engage and act in good faith.
      Please seek legal employment advice before proceeding.

  • Vaccine pass verifier app

    The NZ Pass Verifier is a free app for mobile devices to check the validity of vaccine passes.


     Minimum mobile phone requirements:

    • IOS: Requires iOS 11 or later (this generally means iPhone 5S or newer)
    • Android: Requires Android 6.0 or later.

    You can't use the NZ Pass Verifier to scan International Travel Vaccination Certificates.

    Internet is used for the initial app download and the first scan, and then the app can scan passes without the internet but should be connected to the internet regularly to ensure it can verify all recent, valid passes.

    Read here for full details.

Food and Drink

Morning/afternoon tea and kava sessions etc.

Hand and serving hygiene are of the utmost importance.
Always aim to reduce the risk of cross contamination. 

Food hygiene is of utmost importance.


  • ensure hands have been thoroughly washed and dried before touching the glasses, cups, plates serving tools and other utensils
  • ensure hands have been thoroughly washed and dried while preparing the food and drink
  • or wear food-hygiene standard gloves
  • always keep your hands away from your face


  • handle the food as little as possible
  • offer the food in such a manner it is easy to pick up
  • ensure people don't need to use their bare hands
  • offer the cups, plates and utensils in such a way that recipients need only touch their own
  • serve children under the age of 12 to reduce their exposure to food or utensils that other people may eat or use.


  • where possible, use a dishwasher or steriliser to clean dishes
  • ensure hands have been thoroughly washed and dried before touching the clean dishes
  • clean and dry the cleaning/drying cloths often

Contact Tracing

Who, where and when

Contact tracing is a vital tool in our Covid-19 efforts. We need to track who, was where, and when. Contact tracing now, helps us in the future.

Contact tracing records generated by the parish should only be kept for up to 60 days and then disposed of.

Contact Tracing Responsibilities

Building Stewards
  • provide QR code posters at entry and other reasonable locations
  • consider miniature QR codes on the back of every chair in the worship room
  • Ensure building users know their contact tracing responsibilities
  • Keep records of building user attendance for 60 days and no longer
  • You do not need to keep a record of attendance for events or meetings organised by venue hirers
Event organisers (us or room hirers)
  • Check that attendees have QR scanned
  • Register attendees
  • Protect privacy
  • Keep records for 60 days and no longer
Individual building users
  • scan QR tracer codes OR
  • keep a diary of where they have been, when they were there, and who they were with
Home Groups
  • Provide QR code posters for visitors
  • Maintain a register of visitors
  • Protect privacy
  • Keep records for 60 days and no longer
People in active ministry (lay and ordained), undertaking pastoral care
  • Maintain a diary of whom you visited with and when

Registration forms, contact tracing logs and diaries are available for downloading.

Using the Contact Tracing QR code scanner app

The App is available from

Don't have a smartphone? Register online 

Alternatives to the scanner app

For whatever reason you may not want, or may not be able to use the App.
Here are some ideas to keep track of where you have been and when.



Take a photo!

Make it memorable!

Write in a diary

Time, location, who you were with

Use a daily form

See attached. Time, location, who you were with. Downloads

Govt Covid Tracer Booklet Govt Covid Tracer Booklet

Register online – update on line

Online updates

App doesn't work on your phone?

Contact trace online 

The App will be made available to older phones; 'when' is still to be confirmed

Borrow a teenager to help with the technology!

Don't take your phone to church?

Cheat a little bit – have a copy of the church's QR code at home or in your car. Scan it there!

No data on phone

Once loaded, the App doesn't need data. All the information is stored on your phone. Turn the data off!

QR Code Poster

Get a NZ Covid Tracer QR Code Poster

All our non-residential buildings must have QR Codes available for everyone to use.

   1-20 locations                More than 20 locations
Important notes

  • Have your driver licence ready
  • Location Name is limited to 35 characters, avoid all punctuation marks including dashes and apostrophes
  • Avoid the business number and use this BIC reference S954010
All home groups should have a Covid-19 Tracer QR Code Poster.

Face masks

When to wear a face mask

Face masks are key in reducing any aerosol that we create with breathing, talking and singing.

Therefore wear a mask indoors if you will be talking or meeting with people that you don't normally mingle with on a daily basis.

  • people from multiple bubbles in a vehicle for a Church event or Church business 

  • church services and events

  • Op shops

  • Outreach

Who should wear a face mask

Able breathing people who can remove the masks themselves.

Who should not wear a face mask

  • young children or people who need help to remove the masks
  • people who have trouble breathing
  • people providing service to lip readers

 How to put on a face mask

  • Use clean hands
  • Use a clean, dry, undamaged mask
  • Hold the mask by the ties or ear loops
  • Place over your nose, mouth and chin 
       - Fit it comfortably and securely against the side of your face
       - Ensure you can still breath easily!
  • Clean your hands again!

How to remove a facemask

  • Use clean hands
  • Use the ties or ear loops to pull the mask away from your face.
      AVOID TOUCHING your eyes, nose and mouth
      AVOID TOUCHING the front of the mask
  • Clean re-usable masks in a washing machine with detergent at 60°C.
      ensure mask is fully dry
      use a dryer or dry it flat to maintain shape
      if possible, dry in direct sunlight
  • Responsibly dispose of single-use masks in:
      rubbish bin with closed lid
      sealed bag (and then dispose of the bag)
      AVOID re-using or disinfecting single-use masks.
  • Clean your hands again! 

When to change a face mask

  • if it gets damp or soiled
  • at least each day
  • if you cough, sneeze or dribble into it
  • wash before using again (resusable masks)
  • wear only once (single use masks)

 Helpful websites

Website Notes
Government advice  
3d mask template Make your own mask, consider using layers as described in the great advice below
Sewing bee instructions  
Sewing bee pattern/notes best printed in A3 size
Some great advice Fit, fabric layers, nose wires, what makes a good mask
3D clear face mask To make reading lips possible



Uniting Parishes

Care for Our People

All participating partners care for the wellbeing of their people, and it is difficult for uniting parishes having multiple sets of advice. 

If you have questions or all the different advice is causing conflict, please contact Trudy Downes.

Please email Trudy with any other differences between our advice and our CV partner churches so we can help make information sifting easier for you.

The Methodist Church of New Zealand welcomes you to share your stories of this journey so we may all learn.

Contact Details

Connexional Office

The Board of Administration will continue to offer services during any lockdowns or restrictions.

You may contact staff by email or telephone 0800 266 639 and follow the auto prompts.

Connexional Office phone list


Business Interruption

There is no cover for Business Interruption for the Covid-19 as there is an infection disease exclusion under the policy. This exclusion is common and standard across property policies in New Zealand.

Extract from the policy for your reference:

This policy does not insure loss, damage, interruption or inference animal or human disease and/or any pest management plan under the Biosecurity Act 1993 or any subsequent amending legislation or replacement Act.

Travel Insurance

There is only medical and emergency medical transportation cover during a pandemic. Read on...

We suggest travellers talk to their travel agents about what cancellation fees will be incurred if travelling during this time when the government has issued a non-essential travel edict. Then look to lodge a claim as insurers treat these on a case by case basis.

Further travel information MFAT Safe Travel

Please contact Wendy Anderson if you have further insurance queries.

Office 365

Microsoft provides the Church with free access to its cloud based Office solution, Office 365. It is available to all Parishes and Synods but accounts need to be set up by the IT personnel at the Connexional Office.

With Office 365, members of the Church or employees of the Church are able to use the web based applications of Outlook, Work, Excel, PowerPoint, etc. to continue with their work. Multiple users can log onto Office 365 and share the same documents stored on OneDrive.

All you need is internet access, a computer and a login.

If this is of interest please contact any of:

Peter van Hout

Bruce Johnston

Sarah Andrews 

Enhance our Connexional Network

Current communication efforts are based on current government media releases, personal knowledge and best efforts.

Tell us your concerns, give us your queries. Let us build our Connexional network to target what matters to you.

Email Trudy or text: 027 457 4196

Church Services

Online Resources

Online worship resources are available from various sources.


Zoom - Connexional Account

A Connexional Zoom account is currently being negotiated. Please contact Peter van Hout if this would be useful for your parish or church entity.

Vice President 'Etuini Talakai also held a webinar to help people with some of the basics

Liturgical Services

Holy Communion

When we are in more restrictive circumstances, the mechanics of food service advice is generally:

  • avoid standing/buffet style food-lines
  • serve food individually
  • only have one person touching a utensil rather than multiple people
  • maintain hygiene of hands and utensils
  • maintain physical distancing

How would you see communion happening when physical distancing rules are relaxed and we still want to maintain an ongoing standard of hygiene?

What will be a new Communion normal moving forward in times of threats of infections?

Guidance from Faith and Order

A Theological Statement

Celebrating Holy Communion or the Eucharist has been at the heart of worship for the overwhelming majority of Christian communities. However, Christians and members of other faiths hold the insight that our worship forms and rituals are core aspects of celebrating faith and honouring God. Yet, God is not honoured by practices that are unjust or diminishing.

A practice that risks the health or life of clergy and worshippers is an unethical one. Therefore we should take steps to ensure our experience of celebrating Holy Communion is safer for all of us.

Therefore we should ensure:

  • The person preparing the elements must thoroughly wash their hands and wear gloves.
  • Unnecessary handling is minimised. The bread and cup should be on the Communion table and veiled before the start of the service.
  • A sanitiser gel is offered to every person who comes to church as part of the ministry of welcome. On Communion Sundays, this reduces the risk to the celebrant and those who assist them.
  • Communion ware, cups, chalice, paten are cleaned and dried thoroughly by people wearing gloves.
  • The Sign of Peace is suspended or altered to avoid close or physical contact.

Before distribution, the celebrant and those assisting with distribution will wash their hands with soap and water and then keep their hands cleansed with a sanitiser gel.

Often we receive Communion in both spiritual and physical closeness. The gathering around to receive the elements is a moment of deep fellowship. However, we must continue to practice safe distancing even in receiving Communion.

What that looks like will be contingent on the worship space, the numbers of communicants and their mobility. One option might be to adopt the Presbyterian practice of taking the elements around the church.

Thinking differently; differently thinking

Under the Government's new Protection Framework, it filters through that those activities without vaccine passes or at the red level should have restricted food and drink access (much like the previous Alert Level 2). As we may be using the Protection Framework for a while, it may be time to start thinking differently already if you haven't already.

The Presbyterian Church and some other churches have been using prefilled Communion Cups. This practice may not be as pure as we might wish, but it does allow a level of celebration we might otherwise not have.

When we are restricted in celebrating Holy Communion

The following is offered from Alan Upson.

"Hearing that the St John's Parish Secretary here was seeking some guidance on how the congregation might experience communion, I've put some personal thoughts on the matter to paper and attach a copy for you in the hope that they might be useful.

They are intentionally personal, because the practice of Communion would be just functional, if not graced by people's intentions and feelings of anticipation, presence, acceptance and spiritual refreshment.

The traditional form of communion isn't, I feel, the only way to experience the fulfilment of the Last Supper ritual.

Feel free to share these or put them aside as signs of dotage, as you wish,

Blessings both,

Alan Upson"

Communion - There's a strong element of imagination in our past communion practices. In reality, we are not there in the Upper Room. But what we have done in the past with bread squares and fruit drink to represent the bread and wine, has required some imagination.
In the Pacific Islands for instance I'm told that coconut milk and breadfruit have been used. As children, my brothers and I imagined the ice-cream-in-a-cone stamen of the Periwinkle flower was the real thing, just as others used a tiny tea service for a pretend morning tea.
Communion has elements, not so much of pretend, so much as association. I feel something special is about to happen before communion and a sense of spiritual refreshment afterwards.
In those moments where the elements are taken, I enter a similar mind-space where in child-hood the Periwinkle stamen was an ice-cream, or the empty play tea-set had real milk and sugar in the tea. Only in communion, it is a place where I am a disciple, face-to-face with Christ for that moment.
The physical means of communion and the essence of the ritual, have meaning only with my recognition of the reality of God's presence and connection with the real-me.
The familiarity of how I've taken communion in the past, takes second place to the sense of being at one with the love that is in all creation as it is in me. That's what really matters for me. That there are others who know that mystery also deepens the experience.
So association with the purpose of the event is primary and the mechanics of communion come second.
Touch may help some as with receiving the bread square and the tiny cup of juice. But the focus of the ritual can be done in other ways.
For instance - we know the disciples and Jesus met in the Upper Room where their usual sharing of bread and wine took on a special significance as they came together in the dim light of an oil lamp.
Today, such sharing with Christ-now, might instead have a candle focus, while the words of institution, sanctification and blessing are read, perhaps with responses, followed by a silence for quiet reflection .... without any piece of bread to munch and swallow; without concern for spilling the cup and where to put the tiny thing afterwards; without having to get out of the seat or wait in line.
The disciples didn't have their special moment with Jesus cluttered with such things, why should we?
Through this time of a sometimes-deadly-pandemic, caused by a social-function-dependent virus, invisibly-lurking-anywhere, for which there is no vaccination, we might release ourselves from another fear - of not doing things the way we always did them in the past.
The fear of infection by contact through the preparing and distribution of the traditional variety of elements can be put aside until an vaccination is found - just don't have that kind of communion.
Instead, try out other ways of using the Last Supper story, to bring the worshipping people close to the purpose of the Upper Room event and a full awareness of the resulting blessing of God's Presence.
Alan Upson
May 16th, 2020

Pastoral Services


Supervision must be maintained. It is a significant opportunity we have to share caring pastoral ministry. We can only do this if we look after ourselves.

We are aware that some Presbyters have compromised immune systems. Please take special care of yourselves and as a team of leaders across the church, try and share the load.

Pastoral Visits

Phone first if possible

  • Confirm people are well, and assure them you are also
  • Be upfront about hygiene and keeping each other safe at this time 

Distance and hygiene

  • Maintain physical distancing
  • Wash your hands before and after if you are able
  • Carry sanitiser and use it before and after your visit
  • Keep your hands away from your face

Food and drink

  • Practice good hygiene and food handling habits
  • Truly consider if sharing food and drink is OK if someone is unwell.
  • Consider alternatives like using a cafe or waiting for a better opportunity

Play it safe

  • Maintain a record of places you have visited
  • You have the right to decline visits if you are uncomfortable with the level of risk the virus poses to you and your family's health.
  • Only allow visits if you are sniffle and illness free
  • Be guided by Hospital and Rest Home rules – they are in charge and may still be locked down
  • Wear a face mask

Mental Wellness Support

Call 111 in an emergency or if you or someone else is at risk.

For many of us, the changes inflicted on us can feel overwhelming. Please reach out if you need to talk.

Everyone needs support at times, and we encourage you to reach out and ask for help when it's required. If you are struggling, you can talk to your Presbyter or one of the caring agencies listed below. Presbyters and Deacons, you are not immune to stress, and if you are Stationed, you can access EAP.

Your GP is a good start point. GPs are trained to assess, treat, and manage many mental health challenges. Most services are free and provide information and confidential advice from qualified professionals. A range of other services is available, spanning phone, online, and in-person support.

    Not All Right? - 1737 – free call or text any time, 24 hours a day

    Healthline - 0800 611 116

    Lifeline - 0800 543 354 or free text 4357 (HELP)

    Samaritans - 0800 726 666

    Alcohol Drug Helpline - 0800 787 797

    Suicide Crisis Helpline – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)

    Mental Health Foundation 

    The Fono (Auckland based) 
    Vaka Tautua 

    Youthline: 0800 376 633 (24/7) or free text 234 (8am-12am)

    What's Up: Online chat (1pm-10pm) or 0800 WHATSUP / 0800 9428 787
                      Helpline (12pm-11pm weekdays, 3pm-11pm weekends)
                      Kidsline (ages 5-18): 0800 543 754 (4pm-9pm weekdays)

    Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155 

Ola Lelei helpline

0800 OLA LELEI (0800 652 535) Auckland region freephone service

Talk to a trained Pacific mental health or social worker about any worries, issues or concerns they may have due to COVID-19 (coronavirus). If they aren't able deliver a specific service, then they are able to refer the callers, with caller consent, to one of their many partner organisations. This is the first known service of its kind for Pacific peoples in New Zealand. It is supported by funding from the Ministries of Health and Social Development.

Mentemia app

Mentemia from John Kirwan is an app that coaches mental wellbeing and is free to all New Zealanders. It's packed with evidence-based ideas and tools to help you learn how to be well, and stay well. It includes the most common stressors experienced today - poor sleep, anxiety and stress.

Xero's employee assistance programme

Free, confidential counselling sessions to Xero subscribers and their staff. (Peter van Hout, Sarah Andrews and Bruce Johnston have confirmed availability on the plan MCNZ has with Xero).

Employment Advocacy Programme 

Available to Presbyters and Deacons in appointments, and their families


Sharing the Load

It is possible that some of our parishes or families may be significantly affected. Please advise your Synod Superintendent or the General Secretary if this is the case.


Op Shops

People in the shop – 2 metre spacing

  • Only allow the number of people in as physical distancing will allow
  • 2 metres between strangers in public places
  • 1 metre between known people in public places
  • This includes volunteers stocking the shelves or tidying up
  • Create a one way system if you have space
  • Keep a customer register if people don't use the QR code
  • Ensure there is a QR Tracer code poster available

Hygiene and sanitisation

  • Encourage customers to touch with their eyes before they use their hands
  • Consider all touched items being brought to the counter for sanitisation
  • Sanitise counters and EFTPOS machines after use 

Ideas for incoming items

  • Use clean gloves while handling incoming goods
  • Sanitise hard goods prior to sorting and displaying
  • Wash soft goods separately if possible
  • Date soft goods and hold for a week prior to sorting
  • Select a date and time for drop offs (rather than at any old time) 

Shared toilet facilities

  • Will need to be strictly monitored to ensure they are sanitised for the next person 

Play it Safe

  • Only open if you have willing and able bodied people
  • Maintain enough people for standard security protocol
  • Ensure the QR tracer app code poster is easily available
  • Maintain a register of volunteer attendance for 60 days and no longer


Our volunteers are often the backbone of our outreach endeavours. They often build a routine around the work they do with the church and COVID-19 interruptions strain that routine.

Help our volunteers through this time:

  • Keep in regular contact with your volunteer team
  • Plan for any work that can be done at home
  • Ensure there are available for work to be done at home.


Admin and Ministry Teams on Site

Ensure the team has an opportunity to discuss and agree how operating the office will work, based on being sensible and setting a good example.

Play it Safe Protocols are available under the Downloads page. Edit the protocols to suit your building and your team. There is an additional Play it Safe poster also available to edit.

Landlord/Tenant responsibilities

Landlord responsibilities

  • Ensure the building has a QR tracer app code poster
  • Ensure there is an alternative way of registering building attendance
  • Keep attendance records for 60 days and no longer
  • Keep contractual obligations in mind
  • Increase the cleaning regime and regularity for common areas
  • Keep tenants informed of the changes of the steps being taken
  • Only instigate contact tracing for the offices/building areas you work in
  • Seek further assistance if you are unsure

Tenant responsibilities

  • Their tenancy area, staff, and business operations
  • Contact tracing and QR tracer app code poster for their business
  • Vaccine verification for their business

In our buildings

Physical distancing

To provide a greater level of protection, think about maintaining physical distancing.

  • Consider doorways and pinch points – create space to maintain distancing
  • Think about chairs, standing space, queueing
  • Use indications or signs of expected behaviours – tape on the ground, footsteps (walking or standing), arrows 
  • Keep different groups separate - use separate entry/exits, space bookings apart to avoid groups mingling

Work safely

  • Use alternative ways of working if needed. Such as if customers are not on site, keep staff working from home.
  • If workers are sick with symptoms of Covid-19, tell them to stay home.
  • Talk with your team to identify risks and ways to manage them.
  • Ask everyone, workers, contractors and customers, with cold or flu-like symptoms to stay away
  • Provide and maintain appropriate contact tracing tools
  • Reduce the number of shared surfaces, and regularly disinfect them.
  • Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Wash your hands.

Sharing buildings with others

Keeping each other safe

  • Have a conversation to discuss how each group will keep you and other groups safe
  • Inform them how you will keep them safe – refer to the "Building use" item above
  • We are responsible for keeping our buildings safe

- Keep distance between groups
- Ensure groups stay within their designated time frames to avoid overlaps
- Shorten each groups time frames to avoid overlaps
- Space bookings apart to help avoid groups from mingling
- Maintain clean facilities with sufficient hand washing and sanitisation facilities
- Cancel the building use if users cannot meet the standards

  • Event organisers are responsible for keeping people safe

- Attendance registers
- Scan the QR code
- Social distancing
- Limiting numbers of people
- Mask wearing
- Hygiene – use hand washing and sanitisation facilities
- Stay within the approved 'group' areas
- Don't share food or drink between bubbles
- Reduce activities where multiple people are required to project their voice

Facilities – cleaning and hygiene

Please ensure facilities and building cleaning occurs between groups and that hygiene facilities are available for everyone to use.

Play it Safe!

  • Stay at home if you are unwell
  • Stay at home if you are at high risk of severe illness


The virus on surfaces

COVID-19 can remain on plastic and stainless steel surfaces for up to about 3 days and less than that for other types of surfaces. This will depend on the surface.

Reducing surface transmission

Covid-19 has a fragile outer membrane, so it only survives on surfaces for a limited time, and it is easy to kill through effective cleaning and disinfection using regular cleaning and disinfecting products.

Cleaning is needed to physically remove germs (bacteria and viruses), dirt and grime from surfaces using a detergent and water solution. It is an essential first step in any disinfection process. If surfaces look visibly dirty, clean them first.

Disinfecting uses chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. It's important to clean before disinfecting because dirt and grime can reduce the ability of disinfectants to kill germs. The disinfectant concentration and contact time are also critical for effective surface disinfection.

Green/Orange Traffic lights

In general, routine cleaning performed effectively with detergent (not disinfectant) at least once per day substantially reduces viral levels on surfaces.

Surfaces that are touched more frequently throughout the day, such as door handles, light switches, computers and tabletops, should be cleaned more regularly to reduce the relatively low transmission risk from surfaces.

Red traffic light

Wait as long as possible (at least several hours) before you clean and disinfect.

Open windows (where possible) to improve airflow/ventilation.

Clean and disinfect with household/supermarket products to reduce the risk of infection through touching surfaces.

Clean and disinfect high touched surfaces such as door handles, light switches, computers and tabletops, which have a higher risk of being contaminated and require more frequent cleaning.

Recommended cleaning method

Use a product suitable for each surface, following the directions on the product label, including any personal protective equipment you may need to wear to protect you from chemicals.

Clean surfaces with detergent and then use disinfectant.

Ensure disinfectants are effective against the Covid-19 virus. Follow the instructions to use them safely and effectively. Dwell times – the length of time a product should remain wet on a surface – are needed before drying a surface with a clean cloth to kill germs.

Start by cleaning surfaces higher up and work your way to the floor. This method ensures that any particles, dust or dirt fall to the floor, which will be cleaned last.

First clean surfaces and objects that are less frequently touched.

Work your way to cleaning more frequently touched items with a higher risk of contamination (e.g., door handles and toilets).

Avoid going from an area that has not been cleaned to a cleaned area. This prevents contaminating the cleaned area and will ensure you aren't cross-contaminating items or surfaces.

Clean cloths and mop heads after use.

Wash and dry your hands after use.

When cleaning/disinfecting, you can wear household gloves when cleaning/disinfecting to protect your hands from any cleaning chemicals. If using disposable gloves, remove after use, discard in a rubbish bin and then wash and dry your hands. When finished, wash reusable household gloves, then wash and dry your hands.

Cleaning vs disinfecting

If you are using a disinfectant, make sure it says it is antiviral and follow the instructions. Often, we just end up using a cloth to wipe the microbes around rather than actually letting them sit and stew in the disinfectant first so that it can do its job. Surfaces will need about 10 seconds soaking with the disinfectant to work.

Options to consider:

  1. Leave surfaces alone for 3 days or more
  2. Disinfect the surfaces/objects before and after they are touched
  3. Avoid/bypass the surfaces/objects entirely
  4. Disinfect the hands before and after they touch the surfaces/objects
  5. Minimise the number of people who have to touch the surface/object
  6. Inform people of the upgraded procedures. 

Apply the options to your building and activity.

Hand washing dishes

Ensuring dishes are sterilised is easy with a dishwasher or steriliser unit. The following link has useful information in it regarding steps to take if handwashing is your only option.

Disenfecting dishes

The key ones:

  • Buy antibacterial dish wash liquid
  • Use a scrubber rather than a sponge
  • Use water as hot as you can (and heat resistant dish wash gloves)
  • Sterilise tea towels/drying towels between uses

Cleaning between groups and building uses

  • Ensure groups stay within their designated time frames and or areas to provide time to clean
  • Ensure group numbers are within the approved guidelines
  • Shorten each groups time frames to avoid overlaps
  • Ensure each group maintains outstanding hygiene habits
  • Building use may be cancelled if users cannot maintain standards
  • Create a one way system to help separate people

Additional cleaning products may have to be provided for cleaning, although some groups may also be obliged to provide sanitisation and cleaning products for their own people.