COVID-19 Safety Precautions

As hirer you are responsible for ensuring that the activity in the hall complies with the COVID‑19 Secure Guidelines[1]. You will need to do some preparation before the meeting and you should familiarise yourself with the changing government guidelines. In particular check the COVID‑19: Guidance for the safe use of multi-purpose community facilities[2] page. You must supervise your attendees who may not know the details of what they must do. These instructions are a supplement to the hall’s Public Safety Precautions which must still be observed.

1 General Rules and Restrictions

(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.

(v) Activities:

(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

2 Preparation

Before you arrive

(i) Plan the timing of your event to allow sufficient time for the setup before your attendees arrive. Also allocate time for the finishing up tasks.

(ii) Prepare your own COVID‑19 risk assessment.

(iii) Remind your attendees that they must not attend if they or anyone in their household has had COVID‑19 symptoms in the last 14 days. The exact rules for self-isolating are more complex, but the 14-day description is a simple safe option.

(iv) Remind your attendees that they should bring a face covering unless an exemption applies.

(v) Warn your attendees that the kitchen is closed and that they should each bring their own refreshments which they must not share with other attendees. If you are using a professional caterer, they may use the kitchen and coffee room as per the Conditions of Hire clause 14 provided they have their own COVID-19 risk assessment

(vi) Obtain your own cleaning materials to bring on the day. Household cleaning products are sufficient.

(vii) Obtain your own rubbish sacks. You will need 3 small ones for the bins in the ladies, gents and accessible toilets. We suggest two larger ones for use in the main hall itself, depending on the number of attendees. To avoid cross infection between people touching them, the lids have been removed

3 Setup

Before your attendees arrive, you must undertake the following actions.

(i) Set out furniture, if required, to facilitate social distancing of 2m between individual people or groups. If tables are being used, place them to maintain social distancing across the table between people from different household groups who are face-to-face e.g., using a wide U-shape. Check government guidance[3] for more detail on mitigation measures you can consider.

The hall seats have been divided into four sets: A, B, C and D. These will be used in rotation. The booking secretary will tell you which set of chairs to use for your booking.

(ii) Clean door handles, light switches, window catches, equipment, toilet handles and seats, wash basins and all surfaces likely to be used during your period of hire. This is in addition to the regular professional cleaning arranged by the hall trustees. Use your own ordinary domestic products.

Do not spray the cloth upholstery on the seats but do wipe down the accessible metal and plastic surfaces. If you intend to use the window blinds, clean the plastic pull cords.

Please take care cleaning electrical equipment. Use cloths - do not spray.

For water supply, use the basin in the accessible toilet. Clean it afterwards.

If you need items out of storage areas, clean them before use.

When cleaning surfaces, it is not necessary to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) or clothing over and above what would usually be used. However, after undertaking cleaning duties, the person who has cleaned must wash their hands and use the sanitisers.

(iii) Fit your rubbish sacks to the rubbish bins. To avoid cross infection between people touching them, the lids have been removed.

(iv) Keep the area well ventilated by opening all windows and doors including emergency exit doors wherever possible.

4 Starting the Event

(i) One-way system: Attendees should enter by the main hall door and leave through the double doors to the right of the stage taking note of any direction and spacing markings (the key holder will have to gain initial access through the coffee room or the club room)

(ii) NHS Test and Trace: All hirers are legally required to assist NHS Test and Trace by having a system for keeping a temporary record of contact details for those who attend. The data must be kept for 21 days must be provided to NHS Test and Trace if they request it. If an attendee uses the NHS COVID‑19 App to scan the hall’s QR code, their details do not need to be recorded by the hirer.

Where a group of people attend, contact details for the group leader are sufficient.

If the hirer already has contact details for the attendees, there is no need to have a separate system, though the hirer should keep a record of who attended. As the details are now legally required to be disclosed to Test and Trace, it is no longer necessary to seek consent from the attendees to use the data you already have in this way, but you must keep all personal records in compliance with the UK GDPR. It would, however, be polite to warn your attendees that their contact details could be provided to Test and Trace.

If you need to collect contact details, only one contact method needs to be recorded. The preferred information is a telephone number. If that is not available, an email address is satisfactory. The final option is a full postal address.

You are not legally required to refuse entry to a person who refuses to give you their contact details. (Some premises, such as Pubs, are required to try to refuse entry.)

(iii) Explain the mingling and social interaction rules to your attendees at the start of the meeting. It is likely they will not know the details. This is not relevant if your gathering has 6 persons or less.

(iv) Remind your attendees that they are required by the government to wear a face covering in the hall unless an exemption applies.

(v) Remind your attendees that they should make use of the sanitisers.

(vi) Remind your attendees that they should try to keep a 2-metre space between themselves, even when wearing a face covering.

(vii) Ask your attendees to tell you if they develop COVID‑19 symptoms within 48 hours of your meeting. If you receive such information, tell the booking secretary on 504485 but do not reveal the name of the ill attendee. That is sensitive personal information that should not be disclosed. Also, you should not tell the other attendees. That task is for the Test and Trace team to undertake if they have a positive test result. The only reason for the report to us is that we must tell the local authority if we have more than one such event.

5 During the Event

(i) Keep the premises clean through regular cleaning of surfaces during your hire, paying particular attention to wash hand basins.

(ii) Ensure compliance with the restrictions on mingling. Your attendees may require an occasional reminder.

(iii) Maintain social distancing when anyone uses the toilets. Consider appointing an attendee to keep track of occupancy to avoid social distancing issues in the corridor areas.

(a) Only one person should be in the ladies and one in the gents at any one time and

(b) the facility must be sanitised by each user or the supervisor to their own satisfaction before and after use, to include the basin.

The momentary loss of social distancing that may occur in the corridor outside the ladies and gents toilets is low risk but not acceptable for the vulnerable or the over 70s. They should use the accessible toilet where the corridor access is wider.

(iv) Managing an Unwell Attendee: In the event of someone becoming unwell with suspected COVID19 symptoms while at the hall you should remove them to the designated safe area which is the Club Room where they can await any transport. The unwell person should make exclusive use of the Club Room toilet facilities for any handwashing etc.

Ask others in your group to provide contact details if you do not have them and then leave the premises, observing the usual hand sanitising and social distancing precautions, and advise them to launder their clothes when they arrive home. Inform the hall booking secretary on 504485.

For further guidance see COVID-19: guidance for first responders[4] at gov.uk.

Any tissues etc that may have been touched by the unwell person need to be double bagged and stored for 72 hours before being placed in the main bin. The booking secretary will take charge of this.

6 Finishing

(i) Remind attendees that the restrictions on mingling remain in place until they are off the premises.

(ii) Remind attendees to leave by the door to the right of the stage. This will avoid loss of social distancing should someone decide they wish to re-enter. They can come back in through the main entrance and avoid a clash with others who are leaving.

(iii) Clean all surfaces as you did during setup. Clean any items before returning them to storage;

(iv) Return the seats to the original site from which you took them so they stay in their set.

(v) Remove your rubbish from the hall before leaving. You may take it to the main rubbish container in the car park. Please sanitise your hands before and after.

(vi) Close the windows and doors that were opened to enhance ventilation.

Version 5, 25 May 2021

PDF Version (222KB)

All hire condition files combined in one PDF file (1MB)