Diocese of Parramatta update on the coronavirus

30 August 2021


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, 

Re: COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update 

The NSW Government recently announced changes to COVID-19 restrictions that affect weddings. 

From Friday, 3 September 2021, weddings will be permitted in NSW if they are kept to no more than five guests. The person officiating the wedding and a photographer will be able to attend to record the event, in addition to the five guests. 

The NSW Government has indicated that more information with regards to the lifting of this restriction will be provided during the course of the week. The current information on the government websites have not yet been updated with this information. However, please check the following links regularly: 

Greater Sydney: www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules/greater-sydney#worship-weddings-and-funerals 

LGAs of Concern: www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules/affected-area#worship-weddings-and-funerals 

Work permits 

It was communicated last week that workers will need to register for travel in certain circumstances. The Service NSW website now has the work permit application form up and running, that site can be accessed here: www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/registration-workers-leaving-or-entering-covid-19-area-concern. 

Workers who do not know the addresses they’ll be travelling to can select one of the following options when registering: i) ‘Authorised worker with unknown work addresses’ – if you live in an LGA of concern and required to register ii) ‘Worker with unknown work addresses’ – if you do not live in an LGA of concern, but travelling to work in an LGA of concern. 

Keep a copy of your travel registration and supporting documents with you – you’ll need to show them to NSW Police if requested. Supporting documents may include a letter from your employer with your: 

  • employer details and your details 
  • what work you do and why you need to travel 
  • your hours of work – for example, 8am to 4pm, Monday to Friday 
  • the dates over which the work will be carried out. 

Penalties apply for breaching the Public Health Order or providing false or misleading information. Persons may be liable for a fine of up to $22,000 or up to 2 years in prison. 

In addition, the requirements for authorised workers living in LGAs of concern have changed. Authorised workers living in a LGA of concern must have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by 6 September 2021 (this was previously applicable by 30 August). 

Rapid antigen testing is no longer an alternative to vaccination for authorised workers. 

Mental health 

The Diocese of Parramatta is aware of several media reports over the last few days that have highlighted the rise in mental health issues that prolonged lockdowns are having on young people in NSW. I have convened a working group made up of our various agencies to look into this issue and to determine what support we are able to provide our young people. More information from this group will be made available in the coming days and weeks. 

Scam Alert 

Unfortunately, there continues to be instances where unscrupulous parties have sought to take advantage of people in the current COVID-19 environment. This includes online scams that target individuals and parishes via email and text messages, as examples. Please protect yourself from phishing and other similar attempts by remaining vigilant to such attempts of fraud. 

More information about this can be found at www.scamwatch.gov.au/news/covid-19-coronavirus-scams. The Diocese of Parramatta ICT and Risk Assurance Teams are also available to assist you with these issues should they arise. 

With my prayers during this time, 

Very Rev Peter G. Williams 
Vicar General & Moderator of the Curia 


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