Skip to main content

Faith-Based, Spiritual, and Worship Practices

Faith-based, spiritual, and worship practices are important to many people and offer opportunities to connect with communities. These practices also have a role to play in the prevention of COVID-19 transmission.
Last updated: February 5, 2021
All in-person religious gatherings and worship services are suspended. This means people should not attend in-person religious, spiritual, or faith-based practices. These practices may only continue using remote or virtual attendance options, like Zoom or Skype. Learn more about the current province-wide restrictions.

You can still visit places that host worship or spiritual practices for individual activities such as contemplation, meditation, personal prayer, or worship. All venues that host these practices must have a COVID-19 safety plan in accordance with protocols set by WorkSafeBC.

Venues that host worship, spiritual, or faith-based practices need to follow basic precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. When in attendance, follow these precautions:
These measures are not forever, but they are very important for now, to protect the health of everyone in the community and in the province. Until practice and worship can continue in person, it’s important that everyone follow the orders and participate safely to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect those who are most vulnerable to complications of this disease.

It is also important to consider those who have an increased chance of developing severe illness or complications from COVID-19: people over the age of 65, as well as those with chronic health conditions, medical complexity or immune suppression. Work to support these people by participating remotely or virtually. WorkSafeBC has several suggestions for how to conduct different practices virtually.

Events and Gatherings

Some ceremonies (e.g., funerals) can go ahead with a limited number of people and a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place. You can have a maximum of 10 people attend, including the person organizing and/or officiants of the event.

Faith-based, spiritual, and worship gatherings are considered “events” under the Provincial Health Officer’s Order on Gatherings and Events. Under this Order, if you are the organizer you must collect the first and last names and email addresses or phone numbers of everyone who attends in person and keep this information for 30 days to help with contact tracing in case there is an exposure to COVID-19. If you are renting or using a space, you must also provide this information to the owner of the venue who must keep this information for 30 days. 

Illness and Contact Tracing

If someone becomes ill
If someone develops symptoms of COVID-19, ask them to leave the venue and return home. Encourage them to use the Ministry of Health's online self-assessment tool or call 8-1-1 to determine if they need further assessment for COVID-19 testing by a health-care provider or at a local collection centre.

Safety Measures

Maintain physical distancing
Continue to use virtual or online gatherings when possible. In person, physical distance of two metres between people from different households must be maintained. Encourage participants to greet each other with a smile and a wave instead of direct person-to-person contact. 

Reduce activities that increase the chances of spreading COVID-19

Although important to many practices, there are certain activities that are considered to increase the likelihood of COVID-19 transmission.

Examples of activities to reduce or alter include practices that involve person-to-person contact (such as the touching of hands and faces) and shared items (such as cups or prayer mats). Ensure all sanitary and safety measures are taken; minimize physical contact whenever possible and encourage hand washing or the use of a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol after contact. For offerings, consider designating an area where participants can approach to provide offerings, or consider an online method of collection.

These activities should be reduced or altered, and other virtual means should be explored to support participants to practice in different, safer ways. Different spiritual beliefs include different practices, and organizations should turn towards their communities for specific guidance.

Singing and music

Singing and music can be very important in faith-based, spiritual, and worship practices. Please see the BCCDC’s on Choirs and Bands for more information on reducing risk during these activities. 

Food and beverage services

Follow the protocols and guidance for routine practices as set out in the Food Safety Act and the Food Premises Regulation. For more information see the BCCDC page on Food Safety

SOURCE: Faith-Based, Spiritual, and Worship Practices ( )
Page printed: . Unofficial document if printed. Please refer to SOURCE for latest information.

Copyright © BC Centre for Disease Control. All Rights Reserved.

    Copyright © 2021 Provincial Health Services Authority.