Updated advice for those attending services at SMM
27 January 2022
As you will be aware the Government has announced that the 'Plan B' covid measures will cease from the 27th January.
In summary, the mandatory requirement for face coverings in all shops, on public transport and in schools will be removed, as will the requirement to show covid passes for selected larger venues. The guidance to work from home and to maintain social distancing at all times has also been dropped.
The government continues to recommend hand washing, ventilation and the discretionary wearing of face coverings in crowded spaces.
We are conscious that while many at SMM will welcome the relaxation of covid measures, some will continue to be cautious about continued spread of the Omicron variant or about personal health conditions which increase vulnerability to the virus. Therefore, we will move to a new set of covid measures designed to reflect these needs:
1. Hand sanitisers will be retained for congregational use, and those distributing communion will sanitise before distribution and wear a visor.
2. The blocking off of alternate pews to manage social distancing will be retained for a selected area of pews on the right hand (pulpit/south) side from the front row to the accessible 'loo'. Sidesmen will be available to assist and direct. Elsewhere, social distancing measures will be removed.
3. There is now no requirement to wear face coverings in church and members of the congregation can say their responses and sing hymns without having to use a mask. Those who wish to continue to wear face coverings are very welcome to do so.
4. We will no longer be doing the 'track & trace' as people arrive.
5. We will be 'taking soundings' about reintroducing communion in both kinds. This would of course remain optional, whatever is decided.
St Mary Magdalene is a very large building and ventilation is also good.
We hope these arrangements will provide the right balance as we seek to worship together. They will continue to be reviewed at regular intervals and please do be in touch if you have any questions or comments.