Vaccine mandate removed from Vic churches

Victoria’s Covid rules will be eased from midnight tonight – in time for all to be able to attend churches together.

“The mandatory vaccination requirement will be removed for all customers in retail, except hair and beauty services, and will also be removed in real estate, places of worship, weddings and funerals,” Premier Daniel Andrews has announced. “Mask settings in retail remain unchanged.”

The government says “With more than 92 per cent of eligible Victorians double dose vaccinated, coronavirus restrictions are being updated to ensure Victorians enjoy more freedoms this festive season, keeping themselves and their families safe while the Omicron variant is monitored and investigated.”

This weekend church services in both NSW and Victoria will not require masks. Victoria’s announcement says “Face masks no longer need to be worn at weddings, funerals, or ceremonial settings. If these events are held at places of worship there will not be any vaccination requirements or limits on participants, nor any requirement for organisers to check vaccination status. If the ceremony is at a hospitality setting, vaccine requirements will apply.”

Victoria’s minister for health Martin Foley attributes the changes to a high vaccination rate. These measures strike a balance between the risk of community transmission, and the protection that comes from being one of the most vaccinated jurisdictions in the world.”