Dear Ontario Conference Pastors, Head Elders, Clerks, and Communication Leaders:
Last week Premier Doug Ford announced the provincial government's plan to gradually and cautiously
lift COVID-19 public health restrictions. The current plan forecasts that all COVID-19 public health and workplace safety measures in businesses and organizations, including the requirement to wear a mask indoors, will lift in March of 2022.
As a first step towards this goal, on Monday, October 25th, 2021, capacity limits in restaurants, fitness centres, and several other non-essential indoor settings that require proof of vaccination were lifted. Other establishments may also cease with capacity limits and physical distancing requirements if they choose to require proof of immunization.
What does this mean for our churches?
Locations where a wedding, funeral or religious service, rite or ceremony takes place may also implement proof of vaccination requirements for services, rites, or ceremonies at the location. Currently, the Ontario Conference does not intend to implement any internal policies or procedures that would require individuals attending our worship services to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Therefore our current guidelines, including capacity limits of 300, pre-registration, prescreening, masks, physical distancing, hand hygiene and proper respiratory etiquette, remain in force.
While the Ontario Conference does not require proof of vaccination, those worshiping in rented facilities should note that some of our Landlords may decide otherwise and mandate that all persons entering their location be immunized, including our worshipers.
What is our next step as a Conference?
Like the government, the Conference plans to gradually and cautiously
continue to process and inform the churches regarding the COVID-19 restrictions. Over the next few weeks, we will closely monitor the situation, and another update of our guidelines will follow thereafter.
May you sense His Grace and peace as you continue to minister in these unchartered waters.
- Mansfield Edwards (President)
- Jakov Bibulovic (Executive Secretary)
- Virene Meikle (Treasurer)