Opening your community building after lockdown
Guidance for re-opening your community hall or centre – updated version issued on 18 September
NOTE: This update addresses the ‘rule of 6’ restrictions on socialising that came into force on 14 September
The guidance from our national partners ACRE has been updated to reflect the ‘rule of 6’ restriction on social gatherings that came into force on 14 September. It also tidies up various points that have changed over the last month or so. You can download the document below (PDF), along with a Zip folder containing sample risk assessments and several other appendices as separate Word files that you can edit yourself.
Risk assessment templates (in Word and PDF):
NEW – appendix covering the NHS Test and Trace QR code
Changes from the previous version of ACRE’s guidance (which was released on 17 Aug) are summarised below:
Section 2.2c and Appendix D: Substantial changes to explain and reflect the new group limit of 6, including the addition of a new section B and table with examples to Appendix D. These are headed Rules on Social Interaction, to distinguish them from rules on Social Distancing. Clarifications on limits for religious ceremonies of 30. Revision to section on celebrations and lifestyle events to advise against wakes and children’s birthday parties. Added instead is a suggestion that organised children’s activities at half term and Christmas might engage children’s entertainers.
Test and Trace: Revisions to make clear hirers and event organisers are required to keep contacts, rather than asking them to. In view of current capacity difficulties the requirement to obtain a test has been amended in Special Hire Condition 4 from “get” to “seek”.
Appendix E: Special hire conditions have been adjusted to reflect the above at conditions 4, 6, 8 and 9.
Appendix D: Out of date references have also been removed (eg to nail bars not being able to open, wind instruments not being allowed).
Appendix F and G: A new line added to Risk Assessment to reflect new social distancing requirements and risk of people in groups of 6 or less mingling. In the covering text in the Information Sheet there is a reminder that hirer groups using Appendix G should think about it, not just “adopt it” to satisfy a governing body.
Appendix J, K: Minor amendments to remove out of date prohibitions on singing, wind and brass, and update limits on outdoor groups, including spectators.
We gratefully acknowledge ACRE’s tireless work in preparing this guidance document, and all the other resources they supply for community halls and centres. Please see our website for details of these other documents and how to access them. Action Hampshire can help in other ways too – with regular news bulletins and a membership offer.
A visual guide to making community buildings safe
It’s great to see Wickham Community Centre being used as a case study in this guide, so thanks to Centre Manager Kate English for her valuable contribution.
Comments, queries, and further support
Please contact Kevin Sawers (by email or on 01962 857358) with any queries. You can also email Kevin if you would like to join our online discussion forum, where you can raise queries and share ideas with over 140 community hall / centre managers and trustees. We use the Basecamp system – see this short guide and video for more info.
Changes since ACRE’s guidance was released
The ACRE guidance is up to date as of 17 September 2020. Details of changes to the legislation and Government guidance will be summarised here in between updates to the ACRE guidance booklet.
Changes made on 24 September to the Government’s guidance for community buildings
Amendments were made to the Government’s guidance for multi-use community facilities on 14 September which unfortunately led many people to believe they had to restrict all activities to 6 people or less. This was not the case and the guidance has now been clarified (see section 3c).
However, near the start of section 3 it now says ‘as of 28 September community facilities must not allow singing in groups of more than 6, dancing, or music over certain volumes’. We await further details of exactly what constitutes ‘dancing’ – does it include dance-based fitness activities like Zumba, will children have an exemption (e.g. for ballet), will ‘solo’ dancing like line dancing still be allowed…?