(i) Limit attendee numbers: Based on the room area and guidance which suggests 4 square metres per person, a maximum of 23 persons could be present. However, that would be for a simple lecture from the stage to a carefully laid out set of seats. To control the meeting, you may need to reduce the numbers. As a COVID‑19 Secure venue, the hall can host more than 6 people in total, but no one should visit or socialise in a group of greater than 6 individuals or 2 households (except a “qualifying group” - see below).
For weddings, seated wedding receptions, commemorative events and support meetings the limit is now 30 instead of 15. However, a COVID-safe seating layout for such a large number would require careful preparation.
(ii) Prevent mingling between groups. It is the hirer’s responsibility to manage the attendees to ensure that the event meets the current regulations.
(a) The regulations allow groups of up to 6 or 2 households to socialise together at an activity within their group. These do not have to be members of the same household, and a group could be made up of individuals from 6 different households.
(b) The limit of 6 does not apply to a single household group or support bubble which is more than 6 people, or to members of a “linked household”. A “linked household” is one which has been formed from one adult with children with another household. These groups are called “qualifying groups”. Government’s FAQs advise that venues should continue to accommodate groups larger than 6 who are “qualifying groups”.
(c) Different groups should be separated by 2m (or where not possible 1m with mitigation measures) so that social distancing is maintained between them. People in groups of one, i.e. individuals, need to be socially distanced from other groups.
(d) Mingling between different groups (or mixing of groups) is not permitted. The guidance advises that activities where there is significant likelihood of different groups interacting, and therefore breaking the law, should not take place in a community facility.
(e) At an event, people are advised to limit social interactions with anyone outside the group they attend with as far as possible: They must not mingle or mix. The aim is to limit risk of transmission to within small groups.
(f) Organisers must not place people together in groups of more than 6, unless an exception applies to the event/activity or they are in a “qualifying group”.
(g) Organisers of activities are not required to enquire about household arrangements or challenge a group of people arriving together but need to arrange activities to avoid mingling between groups.
The advice to individuals is that they should limit their social interactions with anyone they do not live with. Consequently, if friends attending in a group of 6 or less are from different households, they may still require sufficient space for social distancing from others within their group.
There are several activities which are excepted, including: pre-schools, out-of-school activities, supervised youth activities, children’s playgroups, organised sport and exercise classes, voluntary or charitable services.
(iii) COVID‑19 vulnerable people including the over 70s always need to maintain the full 2-metre social distancing space from others. For some people, passing another person in a confined space is less risky, but for vulnerable people that should be avoided. Do not plan to use mitigations to allow smaller distances for any vulnerable person.
Avoid allocating COVID-19 vulnerable people to undertake cleaning duties.
(iv) Avoid Speaking Loudly: To avoid risk of aerosol or droplet transmission you must take steps to avoid people needing to unduly raise their voices to each other, e.g. refrain from playing music or broadcasts at a volume which makes normal conversation difficult.
(a) Where an exercise or sport activity takes place, you will organise your activity in accordance with guidance issued by the relevant governing body for your sport or activity.
(b) Where individuals in a group use their own equipment, you will ask them not to share it with others.
(c) You will ensure that any equipment you provide is cleaned before use and before being stored in the hall’s cupboards