BREAKING: Sydney, Central Coast, Blue Mtns church numbers capped again with COVID outbreak

Church services in Sydney, central coast and the Blue Mountains  will return to a cap of 300 people in the building, four square metres required per person for social distancing, and no singing allowed, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced this morning. New rules will be enforced from midnight tonight.

This announcement is a step back from changes announced just a fortnight ago which allowed congregations to sing together – with the advice given of wearing a mask – and just two square metres per congregant required, with no maximum cap on a venue.

However, with the COVID-19 outbreak in Sydney’s northern beaches, the state is now on high alert and authorities are taking more stringent measures to curb the virus’ spread.

Dancefloors at weddings will be capped to 20 people from the bridal party. They are not permitted elsewhere.

The Premier’s announcement follows Northern Beaches churches being forced to close services this weekend and many other churches in Greater Sydney voluntarily suspending their’s also to limit COVID’s spread.

These new rules will mean large churches such as Hillsong will move to online services for Christmas Eve and Christmas Eve – the first time in the church’s history that the congregation will not meet physically to celebrate Christ’s birth.

Berejiklian explained the 300 person cap at her press conference – the cap means that the contract tracers will only have a maximum of 300 people to follow up if someone infectious attends a venue, or part of a venue.

This story will be updated as more information is revealed.