With a phased approach from Welsh Government and advice from One Voice Wales, and WCVA, we have been able to begin the process of opening our Community Centre here in Crynant.
This new way of working together to keep Wales safe is different for us all. Advice and rules are continuously changing and we would like to provide as much as we can while keeping everyone as safe as possible. This may mean that we move at a cautious pace in some circumstances and an advanced pace in others – our channels of communication are always open and we do welcome feedback, ideas, and contribution from the whole community.
Included on these pages are:
A Summary of professional advice and requirements
INDOOR & OUTDOOR MEETINGS
An “Indoor organised activity” is now known as a “regulated gathering taking place wholly or mainly indoors” and similarly an “outdoor organised activity” has now be renamed as a “regulated gathering taking place wholly or mainly outdoors”.
Despite the change in name, the regulations confirm that a regulated gathering whether indoors or outdoors must be organised by
• a business,
• a public body (including community councils) or a charitable, benevolent, educational or philanthropic institution,
• a club or political organisation, or
• the national governing body of a sport or other activity.
So when considering what activities can take place the starting point is whether the organiser falls into one of the categories.
Quite simply if they do not meet the above criteria then they cannot legally organise the activity. For this reason, family social events such as birthday parties, baby showers etc cannot take place as parents for example are not a permitted organiser.
If the organiser does fall into one of the permitted categories then they must create a risk assessment and follow the Welsh Government requirements to take all reasonable measures to prevent the spread of the virus (hand hygiene, social distancing, face coverings, recording customer contact details where appropriate etc) and must follow any specific guidance issued by or endorsed by the Welsh Government that is relevant to the activity.
No alcohol can be consumed by anyone in attendance at a regulated gathering.
The need for social distancing remains and so trustees/management committees of community centres will need to consider what is a safe capacity for any rooms that will be used. The number of people in attendance at a regulated gathering must be the safe capacity of the room or 30 people whichever is the lower figure. This must of course take into account anyone not counted as part of the 30 limit but still physically present i.e. workers, volunteers or children under 11.
It should be stressed that these numbers are maximums and not targets.
The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No 5) (Wales) Regulations 2020 (as amended) allow for the reopening of Community Centres but place a duty on those persons responsible for the centre to take reasonable measures to minimise risk of exposure to Coronavirus at the premises or the spread of Coronavirus by those who have been at the premises. Failure to do so will give rise to enforcement action. This duty includes the collection of contact information.
All premises must comply with the requirements of the current regulations, the alert level in place at any time, and any transitional arrangements. These change regularly so should be checked for updates.
Detailed guidance is available on how to take reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus in workplaces and premises open to the public. It falls broadly into 3 areas:
- take all reasonable measures to ensure that a distance of 2 metres between all persons is maintained on particular premises;
- ensure that other reasonable measures are taken to minimise risk of exposure to the virus, in particular by limiting close face to face interaction and by improving hygiene; and
- provide information to those entering or working at premises about how to minimise risk.
Where premises delivers a mix of services, only those services that can be carried out in accordance with the Coronavirus Restrictions Regulations will be permitted. Those responsible for community centres will need to ensure that anyone attending can do so in accordance with the rules on gatherings. It is important to note that the restrictions and requirements under the Regulations are being amended frequently.
Remember there are some activities that still cannot take place, for example gatherings indoors without a reasonable excuse. Some activities will have their own specific guidance on when and how they can resume. If an activity cannot safely follow the advice in the relevant guidance for that activity, it is recommended it is not undertaken
Many community facilities are also workplaces and those responsible for the premises should therefore be aware of their responsibilities as employers.
They also have a duty of care to volunteers to ensure, as far as reasonably practicable, they are not exposed to risks to their health and safety and are afforded the same level of protection as employees and the self-employed.
Everyone over the age of 11 attending a community centre is required to wear a face covering, as it is an indoor public place. There are some limited exceptions to this requirement. The wearing of visors does not meet this requirement. The Regulations require the face covering to cover the nose and mouth. Information about the use of face coverings can be found here: Face coverings: guidance for the public.
There are specific rules when taking part in an exercise class. A community centre is a public space so everyone will need to wear a face-covering when there and keep it on depending on what they are doing. If preparing to exercise, changing or undertaking any activity that isn’t strenuous, especially when in close contact with other people, a face-covering must be worn.
The advice for individuals who are clinically extremely vulnerable and previously shielding or in an ‘at increased risk group’ to strictly follow social distancing guidance. However, they may decide, for their wellbeing, to attend a community centre despite the additional risk this poses to them. In this case, they and anyone with them should strictly follow the physical distancing guidance.
What this means for our Groups and Hall Hire
- Those wishing to organise any indoor gatherings must have an organiser that falls into one of the following categories:
- a club or political organisation, or the national governing body of a sport or other activity,
- a public body (including community councils) or a charitable, benevolent, educational or philanthropic institution,
- a business
If you have an idea for a group or class that you would like to see at the Centre but do not fall into one of these classes as an organiser, please contact us.
- In addition to the usual Hall Hire forms, we are also using a document provided by One Voice Wales with additional Special-Conditions-of-Hire-during-COVID-19. This must also be adhered to.
- A risk assessment will need to be completed by the Organiser 7 days before the hiring date. If this is an ongoing hire, we will be in communication with you throughout the period and offer ongoing assistance and review. Templates for risk assessments can be found at the HSE website here
- Our rooms and hall have specific maximum capacities for occupancy. These are detailed below as:
• Hall Hire – maximum of 14 adults
• Room Hire – maximum of 6 adults without screens; maximum of 10 adults with screens.
• Exercise Lounge – maximum of 2 adults (non-bubble)
- Our kitchen and canteen area is unavailable for hire. This means that tea and coffee provision will be directly within the hired room via flasks, with ample crockery and condiments provided. The Community Centre staff will clear away and clean used crockery items at the end of your booked session.
- Social distancing must be maintained where possible throughout the hired session and the periods of Centre use directly before and after your session.
- Start and end times for all hires will be staggered to reduce pressure on pinch points throughout the building.
- Welsh Government guidance surrounding face masks must be adhered to at all times.
- Where windows or doors have been opened to maintain ventilation, these must remain open throughout your session. Please note that these will not include fire doors but may include main exit and entry doors.
- Centre users are asked to access only those rooms that they have hired with us along with access corridors and toilets. This will minimise cross-contamination and build-up of people at ‘pinch points’.