NZ churches set to reopen

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Churches are allowed to reopen but physical distancing rules still apply.

The easing of COVID-19 restrictions in New Zealand means that most Seventh-day Adventist churches will be able to reopen on Sabbath.

Earlier this week the New Zealand government announced that the country will be moving to alert level 2 restrictions as of noon tomorrow (Friday, May 29). At this level, gatherings of up to 100 people are permitted. When questioned by the media as to why the restrictions would apply from noon on Friday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern responded that it would allow Muslims, Jews and Seventh-day Adventists to prepare for their Sabbath.

“It was quite exciting to see our Church specifically mentioned in a positive light in the announcement that was broadcast live nationally,” New Zealand Pacific Union Conference secretary/treasurer Graeme Drinkall said.

Churches that choose to reopen must continue to take appropriate steps to minimise the impact the virus may have on members, activities and personnel. They need to observe appropriate physical distancing and keep a register of those attending in line with contact tracing guidelines.

Church leaders are also being encouraged to consider how to incorporate into church life the many innovative initiatives that members have been using to meet and worship together during the lockdown.