Following discussion, the General Council, acting on behalf of the General Assembly as authorised by Par 272(3) of the Code, approved the following easing of Covid-19 mitigations & measures for all PCI congregations in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, to take effect from Monday 4th April 2022, with any necessary decisions being taken locally:
1. At all times government advice should continue to be followed with regard to self-isolation related to Covid-19. Further, those who have (or think they might have) any of the symptoms of Covid-19, or are just generally feeling unwell, should be encouraged not to attend services, meetings or activities.
2. It is recommended that church buildings and halls should continue to be as well ventilated as possible and hand sanitiser should continue to be available.
3. It is recommended that, social distancing should no longer be required in church buildings and halls, though where possible an area of seating should be set aside, where 1 or 2 metre social distancing is maintained, for those who wish to avail of it. It may continue to be preferable to space out chairs in halls and rooms where this is possible.
4. It is recommended that, face coverings should no longer be required in church buildings or halls (including when singing), with those who prefer to continue to use face coverings clearly being free to do so.
5. Restrictions relating to Communion are no longer required, though some of the advice in the previously provided guidelines may continue to prove useful. Sensible precautions should continue to be taken both when preparing and distributing the elements.
6. Restrictions relating to Baptisms are no longer required, though some of the advice in the previously provided guidelines may continue to prove useful.
7. Restrictions relating to catering on church premises are no longer required, though it is recommended that sensible precautions should continue to be taken.
8. Home Groups and other church meetings may take place in private homes, with sensible social distancing and good ventilation as appropriate.
9. Pastoral Visiting in private homes may continue to move towards a more normal pattern of in-person visitation, though wisdom should be exercised with regard to sensible precautions.