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UPDATED GUIDANCE: Re-opening Village Halls and Community Buildings

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This is part of our Covid-19 guidance. To view the main guidance page please click here. This page is being regularly updated however the situation continues to change and in all cases please defer to official government guidance. 

Halls and Lockdown Restrictions

Update: 14th July 2021

Step 4 and Learning to Live with the virus

The Government has decided that restrictions will be lifted, Step 4, on 19th July. However, people will be asked “to make informed decisions and act carefully and proportionally to manage risk to themselves and others”. While legal restrictions will no longer apply, Government guidance will continue to be issued. 

For village and community halls it is clear that all community events and activities and private hires will be able to take place from 19th July, with risks managed by hirers e.g., through ventilation, encouraging social distancing, hand washing and use of hand sanitiser.

It remains important to respect and be considerate of those who are more vulnerable and who may wish to take a more cautious approach so it will be appropriate at some activities or events that measures (including wearing face masks and social distancing) are taken so that people who are clinically more vulnerable or not yet fully vaccinated can attend. Reviewing the Covid - 19 Risk Assessment (below) should help you to arrive at decisions.

At step 4 :

  • All limits on social contact will be removed (currently groups of 6 people or 2 households indoors, or 30 people outdoors).
  • Music concerts, sporting events, singing and dancing can resume without any limits on attendance or social distancing requirements.
  • All restrictions on life events will be removed such as weddings, funerals, and baptisms. There will be no requirement for table service or restrictions on singing or dancing.
  • The legal requirements to wear a face covering will be lifted in all settings. Guidance will advise that wearing a face covering will reduce your risk and the risk to others, where you come into contact with people you don’t normally meet in enclosed and crowded spaces, so use of face coverings will remain advisable in confined spaces such as toilets, kitchens and corridors and at more crowded events.
  • Social distancing rules will be lifted (2 metres or 1 metre with additional mitigations). However, the risks of close contact with others should be considered, particularly if clinically extremely vulnerable or not yet fully vaccinated.
  • Table service restrictions, and distancing between tables, will be lifted for hospitality venues. Guidance will be updated to provide examples of sensible precautions to be taken in risk assessing the situation.
  • Test and Trace will be retained and continued display of QR codes will be advised. The advice for individuals to get a test if advised to do so and self isolate if tested positive remains key to reducing transmission.
  • People no longer need to work from home.
  • Controls for early years, schools, colleges and higher education institutions will be adjusted. The intention is that children will no longer need to be in consistent groups (‘bubbles’).

 

ACRE Guidance 

Update: 23rd July 2021

ACRE has updated their advice to Village Hall Committees in response to the introduction of Step 4.  The following changes have been made: 

  • The Information Sheet has had substantial changes, and appendices have been removed to allow for quicker updates in future.
  • Appendix A: Remains relevant for halls which have not previously re-opened
  • Appendix C: The poster is amended to address changed guidance on social distancing and face coverings.
  • Appendix D: has been substantially reduced to reflect Step 4 out of Lockdown and the implications for different activities.
  • Appendix E: Changes are made to clauses 6, 8,9,11,14 and 17. Clause 15 is removed.
  • Appendix J: Removed, please refer to any updated Government guidance
  • Appendix K: Removed, please refer to any updated Government Guidance 

We know that many Halls and Community Buildings are concerned about operating safely, what this means to hirers and practical considerations.  There are lots of things to consider, as Halls are often the heart of their community as a host for many positive activities.  ACRE have worked with government to produce the following guidance to help Halls with their planning:

We are sharing this beyond our members in response to the challenges we are all facing because of the pandemic.  If you found this useful, and you would like to find out about our membership, please email [email protected]