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New Guidance

The key change on 14th September 2020 is that when meeting friends and family you do not live with you must not meet in a group of more than 6, indoors or outdoors.

There are exceptions to this which include:

- where everyone lives together or is in the same support bubble, or to continue existing arrangements where children do not live in the same household as both their parents

- for work, and voluntary or charitable services

- for education, training, registered childcare, or providers offering before or after-school clubs for children

- fulfilling legal obligations such as attending court or jury service

- providing emergency assistance, or providing support to a vulnerable person

- for you or someone else to avoid illness, injury or harm

- participate in children’s playgroups

- wedding and civil partnership ceremonies and receptions, or for other religious life-cycle ceremonies - where up to 30 people will be able to attend

- funerals - where up to 30 people will be able to attend

- organised indoor and outdoor sports, physical activity and exercise classes (see the list of recreational team sports, outdoor sport and exercise allowed under the gyms and leisure centre guidance

- youth groups or activities

- elite sporting competition or training

- protests and political activities organised in compliance with COVID-19 secure guidance and subject to strict risk assessment

The full guidance on meeting with others can be found here

You may be thinking that you can't run some of your services, however, we would urge you to consider the guidance available on the permitted use of community buildings below.

The updated guidance for those that operate community facilities states that;

2.a. - Social distancing and capacity

Community facilities following COVID-19 secure guidelines can host more than 6 people in total, but no one should visit or socialise in a group of greater than 6.

If partaking in permitted activities users of COVID-19 secure community facilities should limit their social interactions with anyone they do not live with. Whilst activities may have 6 or more people participating (where it is safe to do so and capacity permits) it is important for all parties to maintain socially distant, 2 metres or 1 metre with actions taken to reduce the risk of transmission (where 2 metres is not viable) between households. For example, use of face coverings and encouraging good hand hygiene on entering premises and throughout visit.

So what are the permitted activites that can take place?

The following sections have been taken from the guidance document.

3a: Early years and youth provision

Community facilities which serve as premises for early years provision and childcare have been allowed to open for this purpose from 1 June. Providers of these services in community facilities should follow the relevant government guidance

3b: Voluntary sector and other service provision

Community facilities are currently able to open for essential voluntary activities and urgent public services, such as food banks, homeless services, and blood donation sessions. Any provision should be conducted in line with the core principles of social distancing and shielding for clinically vulnerable people set out above.

3c: Recreation, leisure and social gatherings

We recognise the importance of social clubs for some individuals and recommend that these can proceed with caution in venues that have been made COVID-19 secure.

Clubs or groups that use community facilities can begin to meet again and facility managers should follow these COVID-19 secure guidelines to facilitate that.

People meeting in a club or group context at a community centre should be encouraged to socially distance from anyone they do not live with or who is not in their support bubble.

3d: Meetings and civic functions

Including, meetings of civic, political or community groups (e.g. parish council meeting, ward meeting of political party; charity board of trustees)

3e: Retail and shop facilities

See the guidance relevant to shops and retail settings, including indoor markets, which may also apply to some activities in community facilities.

3f: Places of worship

3g: Office spaces

Where community facilities feature office space, see the relevant guidance for office spaces.

3h: Outdoor space

Where community centres feature outdoor space, see the guidance for safe use of outdoor public spaces.

Please see the full guidance for the use of community facilities here

How should you change your services?

In light of the guidance you should take the time to review the community services you are delivering, however you do not necessarily need to take the steps of cancelling social groups or activities you are running, especially if you are looking to use community facilities to host them.

You need to consider:

- how can you make sure that social distancing is maintained

- that the groups that you have limit thier interaction with others or to small groups of 6

- how an outdoor event may be restructured to have small groups of 6, e.g. a walking group, could this have staggered times.

Published by: Government

With thanks to Community & Voluntary Services Cheshire East for the summary

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