The Massachusetts Municipal Association has gotten a copy of at least some of Gov. Baker's planned orders for easing pandemic restrictions, which he will announce tomorrow at his daily press conference.
Among the changes: Houses of worship will have to reduce their maximum capacity to no more than 40% of the number listed on their certificate of occupancy - and ensure non-related groups of people stay at least six feet apart from other groups.
Also, everybody without a medical reason to do so will have to wear a mask or facial covering - and houses of worship can bar people who refuse to comply. And childcare during services is forbidden.
The new regulations also come with suggestions:
If feasible, places of worship are encouraged to arrange online sign-up for services in advance in order to monitor and limit the
number of attendees.
Places of worship are encouraged to place tape or other visual distancing markings on seating to delineate 6 foot separations and to
post signage indicating the maximum number of persons permitted per row.
Promote ventilation for enclosed spaces where possible. For example, consider opening windows and doors to allow airflow.
- Places of worship are encouraged to take steps to encourage orderly entering and exiting of services in a manner that encourages
- social distancing. For example:
- Signage or floor markings should be posted to have one-way aisles or otherwise direct attendees to follow certain pathways for
- entering and exiting the service.
- If a line forms outside of the service, those waiting should be directed to maintain social distancing. Tape or other markings on the
- ground outside of places of worship should be placed to encourage attendees to maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet.
- Staff should direct people in high traffic areas to help maintain social distancing.
Religious organizations are also urged to cut out pre- and post-service food and to develop no-touch ways to collect donations - preferably by encouraging members to give by mail or online.
Places of worship are encouraged to modify communal rituals, like taking communion or passing of the peace, so as to limit contact
with others. Consider distributing, where applicable, prepackaged communion or sacraments.
Via Boston Jewish Community Relations Council.