Wayside Chapel’s Response to COVID-19 (coronavirus)

Wayside Chapel is implementing and updating our response to coronavirus in relation to our provision of services to visitors, as well as addressing work, health and safety concerns for staff, volunteers, and community programs. Wayside Chapel is continuing to follow the advice of the Australian Government, Chief Medical Officer and the Australian Government Department of Health and working with program partners to ensure that all possible procedures are put in place to minimise risks relating to coronavirus and community transmission.

Operational Change Update – February 2021 

With the NSW Premier’s announcement of the further lifting of COVID-19 restrictions across NSW, we can announce the following changes across Wayside Chapel:

Community Service Centre – Kings Cross 

  • Opening hours for visitors will be Mon – Fri 9:30am – 2:30pm; 5pm – 8:30pm & Sat – Sun 9:30am – 2:30pm
  • Return of volunteers to front desk shift
  • Level 3 will be available to use for care coordination

Community Service Centre – Bondi 

  • Operating hours for visitors in Bondi will be 9am-2:30pm
  • Volunteers returning to all regular shifts
  • No restrictions on care coordination

Outreach will continue as normal between 1pm – 9pm

Op Shops

  • Kings Cross op shop will be open Tuesday – Saturday 9:30am – 2:30pm.
  • Bondi op shop will be open Tuesday to Friday 10am-4pm, and Saturdays 10am – 2pm.


  • Current volunteers will be able to sign up for shifts for the front desk of Kings Cross and Bondi Community Service Centres, as well as for shifts in the low-cost cafes and op shops.


  • From Friday 12 February, masks will no longer be mandatory in the low-cost cafe, Heart Cafe, op shop and Community Service Centre. If you would still like to wear a mask, we will support you to do so.
  • You will still be required to wear masks in situations where it is not possible to observe 1.5m physical distancing. Masks will not be mandatory for volunteers but will be strongly recommended.

Please find the full list of ongoing Operational changes below.

  • All non-essential activities have been stopped to enable all resources and to be focused on the sustainable provision of services in our Community Services Centres in Kings Cross and Bondi. A new model of care has been implemented to focus on emergency relief.
  • A street outreach team will deliver care packs to people on the streets and home visits
  • In Kings Cross this will mean the temporary closure of activity programs including the Wellness Program & Twilight Program
  • The Community Service Centre is now open between Mon – Fri 9:30am-2:30pm; 5pm – 8:30pm & Sat – Sun 9:30am – 2:30pm to provide core services including:
    • practical assistance including showers, emergency clothing packs, phone charging, blankets;
    • care-coordination including crisis accommodation referral, medical and Centrelink referrals
  • In Bondi Beach, the Community Services Centre is now operating at reduced opening hours of Monday to Friday, 9am – 2:30pm providing
    • phone outreach and support for people in crisis or in self isolation, including referrals to other services
  • In Kings Cross and Bondi Beach, the outreach teams deliver the following between 1pm – 9pm:
    • foot outreach – deliver care packs to people on the streets;
    • van outreach – give support to the newly housed, people in temporary accommodation and assists with maintaining tenancy issues
  • Low-cost cafes in both Kings Cross and Bondi have reopened at reduced hours and serving affordable meals, hot and cold drinks ranging in cost from 50c to $4
  • Wayside Chapel Ops Shops are open in Kings Cross and Bondi. They are still accepting donations of good quality, clean clothing, towels and blankets in clothing bins
  • All church services are back and will also be held online. In Kings Cross, there is one Sunday Service at 11am and in Bondi, there are two at 9:30am and 3pm
  • Heart Cafe, our social enterprise café in Bondi Beach, is open and following all social distancing rules in line with current government advice. It is also open for takeaway as usual.
  • After a COVID induced hiatus, Wayside Chapel’s School Education Program is now up and running. Please email [email protected] for any enquiries. We will update about Corporate Volunteering soon. 
  • All people at Wayside Chapel are being asked to practice physical distancing measures of keeping 2 square metres away from other people. An appropriate maximum capacity will be enforced in all rooms and spaces.

Other Risk Mitigation Strategies

Wayside Chapel is monitoring information and following COVID-19 advice from the NSW Government.

  • All visitors eating in our low-cost cafe are required to sign in via QR code
  • Extra action will be taken to ensure that people with vulnerable health status are supported to remain healthy and well. This extra action includes current negotiation with our health partners to provide flu shots.
  • Stocks of hand sanitiser and masks are readily available and stocks will be replenished where necessary.

Messaging for Visitors, Staff, In-reach Providers, Corporate Visitors, Event Patrons and Volunteers

  • Will not be allowed to access Wayside Chapel if they have travelled internationally and are required to self-isolate for 14 days or visited a COVID-19 hotspot.
  • Should not come to Wayside if feeling unwell and/or experiencing flu-like symptoms, should isolate themselves and seek appropriate medical advice.
  • Should practice social distancing measures of keeping 2 square metres away from other people and avoid spending long periods of time in enclosed spaces with other people. An appropriate maximum capacity will be enforced in all rooms and spaces.
  • Should avoid shaking hands and other close contact.
  • Wash hands often and thoroughly (signage has been displayed in bathrooms).
  • Minimise touching of face.
  • Wash and sanitise hands regularly. Hand sanitiser is available throughout Wayside Chapel.

Protecting Yourself and Others 

To help reduce the spread please ensure you follow the good hygiene practices below to protect yourself and others:

    • Cover mouth and nose with elbow crook or tissue when coughing or sneezing, throw tissues away immediately and wash hands.
    • Clean hands regularly using soap and water or if unable to get to a basin,  use alcohol-based hand wash (hand sanitiser) for a minimum of 20 seconds to be effective.
    • Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever and/or cough, or any of the symptoms.
    • If unwell, people will be instructed to avoid contact with others (stay a minimum of 2 metres away).
    • Sanitise glasses, cups, forks and spoons regularly in dishwashers. Areas where there is no dishwasher instructed bring all items to commercial dishwashers.
    • If staff are feeling unwell and/or experiencing the flu-like symptoms, they should seek medical advice and stay home until they are well.

If Experiencing COVID-19 Symptoms

Any person who has symptoms including fever, coughing, sore throat, fatigue, and shortness of breath; been diagnosed with COVID-19, have recently returned from overseas (or come into contact with someone who has); or have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 must:

  • self-isolate for 14 days;
  • seek treatment if they suspect they may be affected by the virus;
  • contact their doctor, or local Emergency Department and give them details of their symptoms and treatment; and
  • wear a mask and move to a private room and call 1300 066 055 for further advice. There is a walk-in emergency testing clinic at RPA. Hospitals will be responsible for quarantine arrangements.
  • Staff confirmed with a case of COVID-19 will need to be cleared of symptoms and provide a medical certificate to that effect before being permitted to return to work.

Staff Procedures Regarding Visitors Feeling Unwell and/or Experiencing COVID-19 Symptoms

Staff who identifies any visitor displaying symptoms including fever, coughing, sore throat, fatigue, and shortness of breath; has been diagnosed with COVID-19; have recently returned from overseas (or come into contact with someone who has); or have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 must follow the procedures:

  • notify their immediate manager and Wayside Program Manager;
  • get a surgical mask for visitor from team leader;
  • refer patient for testing at St. Vincent’s Hospital, or other testing facility.
  • call an ambulance and isolate the visitor in meeting room until they can be taken to testing facilities at St Vincent’s Hospital if the visitor is too unwell to make their own way to hospital;
  • sanitise the isolation space and other areas used by the symptomatic visitor; and
  • consider implementing exclusion for a period of 7 days, or until such time that the visitor is symptom free, or medically cleared.

Business and Personal Travel: Self-isolation Requirements

Borders in Australia have now reopened.

Wayside requires all Visitors, Staff, In-reach Providers, Corporate Visitors, Event Patrons and Volunteers to not attend Wayside and self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival to Australia if they have recently travelled internationally to any country, or returned from overseas or if they have visited a COVID-19 hotspot.

This applies all people – whether they be citizens, residents or visitors – will be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival in Australia.

If you have had close contact with anyone who has recently traveled overseas, we ask that you observe the same precautions.

If you are planning to meet with international clients or visitors in coming weeks (particularly people travelling from the countries identified above), we strongly recommend you doing so via teleconference or Video Conference.

We are not currently placing any restrictions on domestic travel. We will continue to monitor the situation. Where possible, we recommend limiting travel and exploring alternative meeting arrangements (i.e. virtual).

Please refer to the Federal Department of Health’s advice and Australian Government’s Isolation Guidance and Chief Medical Officer for further information.