Lavendon Village Hall: COVID-19 & Re-opening Update

LAVENDON VILLAGE HALL RE-OPENING & THE ‘RULE OF SIX’: A NEWS UPDATE – 16 Sep 2020

Prospective Hirers and Visitors to the Lavendon Village Hall may like an update on re-opening conditions following the recent introduction of the Government’s ‘Rule of Six’.

The Village Hall is essentially ‘COVID-19 Secure’, meaning that the managers have conducted a Risk Assessment and as a result introduced appropriate signage, cleaning routines, sanitisation stations, social distancing arrangements, one-way system, Hirer’s Special T&Cs, and various other procedures, to help render the Hall safe. A local overall limit of 30 visitors remains in force.

Hall Managers continue to receive guidance from ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England), an organisation which is in daily contact with relevant government departments concerning the responsibilities of Hirers, Managers and Hall Trustees. The latest version of the Government Guidance for Community Facilities issued on 14th September, section 3c, (see link below) indicates that community halls are able to remain open and, for example, to host formal or informal clubs, hobby groups, and amateur choirs and orchestras, provided the venue is Covid secure.

The guidance stresses that activities and clubs must be limited to attendance in groups of no more than 6 people following social distancing rules. Only “where there is a significant likelihood  of groups mixing and socialising (and where it will be difficult to prevent mingling and therefore breaking the law) should activities not take place in a community facility”. We are advised that the listing of activities such as Women’s Institutes, sewing clubs, book clubs, craft clubs, reading groups, amateur choirs and orchestras does not mean they cannot take place: it is a flag for organisers of such activities to take particular care to ensure that individuals attend them in component groups no larger than 6, and that these small groups (which might only be one person) remain socially distanced from each other and do not mingle while on the premises.

People meeting in a club or group context at a community centre must be encouraged to socially distance from anyone they do not live with or who is not in their support bubble. Community facilities following COVID-19 secure guidelines can run children’s groups and other youth activities, subject to their own capacity limits and specific Government Guidance. Indoor sporting facilities, fitness centres and dance studios can also operate. Hirers providing such activities, must likewise adhere to specific government guidance concerning sports and leisure facilities.

Where community facilities need to be used for physical meetings, these meetings should be managed within the social distancing guidance and principles set out elsewhere. Meetings may include civic or community group meetings, eg such as the hall’s own charity board of Trustees and Management Committee.

The above summary is simplified and only indicative: more detailed information can be found at:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-multi-purpose-community-facilities/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-multi-purpose-community-facilities

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