Restrictions on capacity
Although the new guidance allows for over 30 people to gather for times of worship in a place of worship and its grounds, this will very much depend on the capacity of the property. Considering the limits on the basis of the capacity of your building is probably best achieved by measuring the space and laying out the chairs in the main worship area and measuring space in corridors, WCs and access points.
The number of people permitted to enter at any one time should be limited, so there is a safe distance of at least 2 metres, or 1 metre with risk mitigation (where 2 metres is not viable) between households. The size and circumstance (including ventilation) of the premises will determine the maximum number of people that can be accommodated whilst also facilitating social distancing; this may therefore be lower than 30 people. One-way systems and queuing arrangement will need to be considered.
For more information and guidance about opening up your church building check out our recent briefing paper ‘Coming out of Covid-19 – opening up church buildings for worship’