The First Minister has announced that COVID-19 restrictions in Scotland will move beyond Level 0 on Monday 9th August. She emphasised that the virus is still a threat and that care still needs to be taken. What does the statement mean to us regarding our worship and use of the church building?
While the law will not stipulate physical distancing, from 9th August the public is advised to maintain a safe distance from people of other households, particularly indoors, to minimise risk. It would therefore be possible to offer seating arrangements without restrictions, but it seems more reassuring to keep to the present 1 metre distancing in the church. We are also therefore following the guidelines of the Church of Scotland.
Wearing face coverings indoors will continue to be the law, subject to existing exemptions, as is the case now. This means we need to wear our face coverings in church, even during singing. At coffee time, though, we can remove them.
Continuing Good Practice
We offer re-assurance to everyone that we will continue to manage the high standard of cleaning and disinfecting regimes, hand hygiene, and good ventilation. We will also continue maintaining our Risk Assessments, and Track and Trace procedures.
We understand that there are due to be further changes in Government regulations and guidance published on 30th August. In our response to those changes, we will continue to comply with Government guidelines and the advice from both the Church of Scotland and Edinburgh Presbytery.
- We are open as usual and welcome all (if you have any of the COVID symptoms please stay in isolation though!);
- Physical distancing in church remains 1 metre between households;
- Face coverings must be worn in church;
- Hand hygiene, high standard of cleaning, and ventilation continues to be the norm;
- Please continue to uphold these standards for the safety of everyone, even if it is not required by the law.
We very much appreciate your understanding and patience in these matters. We know how tiring this is for everyone. We continue asking you for your support and prayers not just for us as a church family but for all in the land, leaders, front line workers, young and old.
Lord, by such things people live;
and my spirit finds life in them too.
You restored me to health
and let me live. (Isaiah 38:16)
[from GV, minister, and Timothy Pitt, Session Clerk]