Helping Churches Navigate Vaccine and Other COVID Requirements

Newfoundland & Labrador

Update: February 2, 2022

The entire province is currently at Alert Level 4.

  • Gatherings at funerals, burials, weddings, and religious and cultural ceremonies are limited to no more than 50 people or 25 per cent capacity, whichever is less. Physical distancing must be maintained.
  • Public visitations are permitted, with one household bubble visiting at a time.
  • Wakes are prohibited.

New Brunswick

  • The entire province is now back to Level 2 restrictions.
  • In the Mandatory Order (dated Jan. 28), Items #7 and #11 speak to restrictions for faith venues and gatherings. We have found this iteration of the rules for faith gatherings to be difficult to parse; our best understanding of the rules are as follows:
    • Proof of vaccine is required for weddings, funerals, and social gatherings
    • Churches may choose to require proof of vaccine, in which case the following rules apply:
      • Social distancing of 6ft
      • 50% of venue capacity
      • There is no singing except for one person who is at least four metres away from any other person
      • Masking at all times except for officiants, musicians, and other performers on a stage
    • For gatherings other than weddings, funerals, and social gatherings, churches may alternatively choose to ensure that:
      • Social distancing of 6ft
      • 50% of venue capacity
      • There is no congregational singing
      • Masking at all times
      • A record is kept of every person in attendance by date and time, with the name, contact information, and row/pew number of each person, and the record is made available to Public Health upon demand.
    • We have been given to understand that under Levels 1 and 2 of the measures, gatherings that are not social in their purpose (youth group, Bible study, etc.) can be subject to your choice of the above two options—but not social gatherings.
    • Children’s groups (under 12) can continue again, after being placed on pause from mid December through the month of January.

 

Nova Scotia

Updated February 14th, 2022

As of Feb. 14th, there are new guidelines for Faith Gatherings in Nova Scotia. Please see this document from NS Public Health for more details.

  • Church gatherings must adhere to a limit of 50% of venue capacity.
  • Physical distancing is required except for among people from the same household or consistent social group of up to 25

Proof of full vaccination is not required for a regular faith service, such as daily or weekly services. Services that are part of your faith’s annual calendar (such as Christmas and Easter services in Christian faiths) are considered the same as regular daily/weekly services—no proof of full vaccination is required. Masking is required throughout these services, whether people are seated or not, except for officiants or singers when they are speaking or singing … physical distancing is no longer required.

Proof of full vaccination is required for any other events and activities hosted by a faith organization, including social time after a service, Bible study, youth group, retreats, community meals or fundrasiers and meetings, and holiday concerts and special events. Masking is required at such events except when people are actively eating or drinking and for officiants when they are speaking or singing.

Weddings: Proof of full vaccination is required for participants (not officiants) at weddings, funerals, and other ceremonies—even if they take place in a church or other faith facility. Informal weddings as outlined in Section 4.1 of the protocols do not require proof of full vaccination, but they must be limited to 10 people from the same household or consistent social group, plus one officiant. Proof of full vaccination is required for receptions associated with weddings.

Funerals: Proof of full vaccination is required for participants at weddings, funerals, and other ceremonies—even if they take place in a church or other faith facility. It is not required for officiants, funeral home staff or service providers… there is an exception for funeral services with a maximum of 25 participants indoors or outdoors (not including officiants or funeral home staff), but everyone must wear masks and practice social distancing. Proof of full vaccination is required for receptions and visitation associated with all funerals.

 

Prince Edward Island

Temporary COVID-19 measures are now in place:

  • Up to one cohort of 50 + officiants/staff with physical distancing among individuals from different households/steady 10, with masking; (e.g. worship service, wedding ceremony, funeral ceremony, cinemas, theatres, concerts)
    • No multiple cohorts of 50 permitted
    • Multi-use facilities can continue with groups of 50 per separate space
  • No wedding or funeral receptions;
  • Private visitations with a deceased permitted of up to 10 individuals consisting of a single household with members of their steady 10 permitted (with only staff present)
  • Congregational singing with masks permitted.