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Practices We Recommend Keeping After Restrictions Lift

As the provincial governments in Atlantic Canada prepare to lift restrictions related to COVID-19

Making People Feel ComfortableMasks and DistancingContact TracingCommunication
  • Encourage your staff and greeters to avoid initiating handshakes or hugs. Your attendees and guests might be comfortable with it, but don’t assume this.
  • Keep signage up and visible in all areas to encourage people to practice good hygiene.
  • If there are immuno-compromised people in your church, take the time to chat with them about their sense of safety and comfort. If they’re not comfortable being at non-distanced, unmasked in-person gatherings, consider what you and your church can do to serve them.
  • Keep the floor arrow stickers to direct traffic in your facility
  • Encourage your congregation to ask permission from each other before hugging or shaking hands
  • Take extra precautions with indoor ventilation (opening windows, air exchange systems, etc.)
  • Use outdoor spaces for social mingling as much as possible
  • Remind people that it’s more than okay to continue wearing masks
  • Remind people to stay home if they have any symptoms
  • If contact tracing requirements are still in place, make sure you are following your provincial guidelines on how to collect (and subsequently destroy) the contact information properly.
  • Even after contact tracing is no longer required, it may still be a good idea to ask for a name and phone number for everyone who enters the facility. We know of some churches that are asking their congregation, going forward, to personally keep track of the dates that they are onsite at the church facility.
  • Communicate on a regular basis with your congregation about any changes to protocols, expectations, and plans. The more everyone knows about what COVID prevention measures are in place, the more comfortable the congregation will be.
  • Communicate clearly on your church’s website and social media pages what someone could expect if they attend an in person gathering. What would a visitor need to know about masks, distancing, etc., when they enter your facility?

Provincial government restrictions and guidance

New Brunswick:

As of March 14th, there are no provincial public health restrictions.

Newfoundland & Labrador:

As of March 14th, there are no provincial public health restrictions.

Nova Scotia:

As of March 21st, 2022, phase 3 of public health changes takes effect; there are no provincial public health restrictions.

Prince Edward Island:

As of March 17th, 2022, the province is at Step 2 of reopening:

  • Mask requirements must continue to be followed.
  • Spectators and attendees permitted up to 75% capacity; organizers required to maximize use of space to allow for as much physical distancing as possible
    • Capacity is the standard operating capacity of the facility (e.g. pre-COVID capacity)
    • Staff and officiants are excluded from the 75% limit.
  • Congregational singing with masks is permitted
  • Information on masking for performers is in the guidance for wearing masks in the community.
  • People must be seated to eat and drink. If a standing reception – see guidance specific to standing receptions.
  • There is no requirement for records for contact tracing for organized gatherings.