Your venue is ready to become a local hub again, so you open it up. But Covid-19 is still a thing… so what do you do? Take all the necessary precautions of course!
Here is a handy guide to making sure your space is as covid-safe as possible. Although please do not see it as an alternative to the government guidance that can be found here. This is more of a cute summary. Share Somewhere style.
Are you sure your venue is ready to be open?
The government has granted the managers of community facilities the decision-making power for when they consider it safe to open up. This means, they can also decide to remain closed if they feel like they’re unable to follow the guidelines laid out to make sure their space is covid-safe.
This is something you can decide after reading the guidelines. But please do remember that it is the duty of the venue holder to ensure, as far as reasonably practical, that those who enter their venue are not exposed to any risks.
This covid-19 risk assessment should also be completed to help you make this decision.
Check your space
What is the size of your space? What is your space used for? The answer to these two questions will determine the maximum number of people that your venue will be able to accommodate while facilitating appropriate social distancing (2 meters).
After the six people rule that went official on the 14 September – you may be thinking all this information is useless. Wrong! The government guidelines also states:
“Community facilities following COVID-19 secure guidelines can host more than six people in total, but no one should visit or socialise in a group of greater than six.”
This means that while you can have six or more people participating in your community space, it is important for all parties to maintain socially distant and follow strict actions to reduce the risk of transmission (e.g., face coverings and good hand hygiene).
On that note…
What changes can I make to enable safe access to my event/venue?
1. Make use of multiple entry and exit points. Introduce a one-way flow in and out of the premise with appropriate signage. But make sure this doesn’t inhibit any disabled access!
2. Manage the arrival and departure times of different groups. Set a strict schedule with limited number of people coming in and out at the same time.
3. Advise avoiding particular forms of transport or routes; especially crowded areas
What are the regulations on cleaning my venue?
All surfaces, especially those most frequently touched should be cleaned regularly. Here are some tips:
· Lay out sufficient time to clean before and while the venue is in use.
· Open non-fire doors and windows to improve ventilation
· Put up signs and posters to build awareness of good handwashing technique
· Provide hand sanitizers in multiple locations e.g., reception areas and washrooms
· Provide clear guidance for using the toilets with hand drying facilities
Do we have to wear a mask indoors?
Since the 8th of August, face coverings are required by law to be worn in a greater number of public indoor settings, including community facilities.
They are required to be worn unless there is a ‘reasonable excuse,’ where face masks do not replace social distancing.
Be aware that face coverings should not be used on children under the age of 11 and to be mindful that wearing a face mask may inhibit communication with people who rely on lip reading, facial expressions and clear sound.
We hope this guide helps you open your spaces to the local community – as covid-safe as possible!