New South Wales will allow 20 people to attend weddings and 50 people to gather at funerals and places of worship from Monday.
Currently, only 10 people can go to church and weddings while 20 people can attend indoor funerals. Up to 30 people are allowed at outdoor funerals.
The restrictions have meant many have missed their loved ones’ funerals while others have been struggling to get refunds for cancelled weddings.
Meanwhile, most religious people have not been to their local place of worship since lockdown laws were tightened in March.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced easing of restrictions on Thursday, warning people still have to practice social distancing.
Up to 20 people will be able to attend weddings in NSW from Monday, a boost from the current maximum of 10. Meanwhile, up to 50 people will be able to attend funerals and places of worship
‘We know how important these services are to individuals and families but as we ease restrictions further, we must remember to keep one another safe,’ Ms Berejiklian said.
‘It is crucial that worshippers remember to follow health advice. This is particularly important for people with co-morbidities aged over 65 and people aged over 70.’
When churches reopen to larger gatherings, choirs, sharing books and the passing of collection plates will be continue to be banned to prevent infection.
Churchgoers and anyone attending a place of worship will be required to sign in with their contact details, as is the current practice.
The announcement comes after a Catholic Church petition urging the NSW Government to allow more people to attend Mass garnered more than 10,000 signatures.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian (pictured) announced the increase on Thursday, warning people still have to practice social distancing once larger gatherings are permitted
‘Why are 50 people allowed to dine in a restaurant, but only 10 people are allowed to attend Mass, even though our churches are often much larger in size?’ the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney petition read.
‘We do not consider church attendance to be non-essential; indeed, nothing is more essential than the practice of our faith.
‘Premier, Catholics are not asking for special treatment, we are asking for equal treatment.’
After the Church’s prayers were answered, it posted on Facebook:’Thanks to the more than 10,000 people across NSW who have signed a petition calling on the Premier to end unfair restrictions.’
Father Bernie Thomas gives an evening prayer at Mary Immaculate Church in Waverley on May 23. The Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney started the petition on Wednesday, urging the NSW Government to allow more people to attend Mass
Similar to NSW, Victoria allows up to 10 people at weddings and places of worship.
Meanwhile, 20 people can attend indoor funerals and 30 mourners can gather at outdoor ceremonies.
From 1 June, up to 23 people will be able to attend weddings – the celebrant, the couple being married, and 20 guests.
Up to 50 people will be allowed to attend a funerals at larger locations while only 20 can attend at-home funerals from the same date.
Up to 20 worshippers will be able to attend places of worship from June 1.
Queensland currently has exactly the same laws as NSW and Victoria when it comes to weddings, funerals and places of worship.
Ten people can attend a wedding or place of worship, 20 people can attend indoor funerals and 30 people can attend outdoor funerals.
But from June 12, weddings and places of worship can have 20 people while funerals can have 50 mourners.
Men gather at Lakemba Mosque in south west Sydney, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. From June 1, up to 50 people will be able to attend mosques and other places of worship
Tasmania is on the same boat as Queensland, NSW and Victoria.
The island state allows for 10 wedding guests and 10 people at places of worship. In addition, 20 people are allowed at indoor funerals and 30 are allowed outdoors.
But from June 15, up to 20 people will be allowed at weddings and places of worship. Meanwhile, the number of funeral guests will be buffed to 50.
Like most of the other states, the ACT allows for 10 people at weddings at places of worship, 20 people at indoor funerals, and 30 at outdoor ceremonies.
Western Australia allows up to 20 people to attend indoor funerals, weddings and places of worship. Up to 30 people are permitted at outdoor ceremonies.
Lastly, the Northern Territory has no limit on the number of people who can attend weddings, funerals and places of worship.
The Top End does, however, have a two-hour limit on activities, including funerals, wedding and religious ceremonies like Mass.
Currently in NSW, Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania and the ACT, indoor funerals can have 20 mourners while outdoor funerals can have 30. But from various dates in June, these states will allow up to 50 people at both outdoor and indoor funerals