COVID 19 Policy

Ideas Hub COVID 19 Policy

This policy is to help Ideas Hub Chelmsford carefully plan and decide when and how to reopen, whilst maintaining the safety and wellbeing of our communities during the Coronavirus pandemic.

This policy is heavily based on the UK Government https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-multi-purpose-community-facilities/covid-19-guidance-for-the-safe-use-of-multi-purpose-community-facilities

This guidance is national guidance that applies across England. Please consider if local restrictions are in place when reading and implementing this guidance, see www.gov.uk/coronavirus for local information.

As a multi-use community facilities, the Ideas Hub supports a wide range of activities. However, our communal nature also makes us vulnerable to the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The governmental  information signposts to relevant guidance on a range of different activities that can take place in our spaces, in line with the government’s roadmap to ease the existing measures to tackle COVID-19.

The manager of the Ideas Hub Chelmsford has discretion over when  it safe to open for any activity permitted by legislation and may decide to remain closed if the Ideas Hub Chelmsford is not able to safely follow the advice in the relevant guidance, to make the space COVID-19 secure.

The Ideas Hub Chelmsford also has 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. See government information on coronavirus volunteering and how to help safely. Volunteers and other individuals who are shielding should continue to follow the government’s advice on shielding.

The Ideas Hub Chelmsford will apply relevant guidance listed here, locally, depending on circumstances, in regards to its size and the  activities it hosts, its users, how it is organised, operated, managed and regulated.

Some key principles  are highlighted below.

  1. Core principles

Any reopening plans will be consistent with:

Ideas Hub Chelmsford has legal responsibilities under health and safety law, and must take reasonable measures to ensure the premises, access to it, and any equipment or substances provided are safe for people using it, so far as is reasonably practicable.

To help decide which actions to take prior to re-opening the building for permitted activity, a COVID-19 risk assessment is in place, taking account of the core guidance on social distancing and the points set out below. This will be in addition to any risk assessment which is already in place for the Ideas Hub.

 

  • Social distancing and capacity

The Ideas Hub Chelmsford will ensure that the guidelines on social distancing are followed, including strict adherence to social distancing of 2 metres or 1 metre with risk mitigation (where 2 metres is not viable).

Total floorspace as well as likely pinch points and busy areas should be taken into account (e.g. entrances, exits) and where possible alternative or one-way routes introduced.

Premises or locations which are COVID-19 Secure will be able to hold more than 30 people, subject to their own capacity limits.

Although gatherings of more than 30 people are permitted in a COVID-19 Secure premises (where they can do so safely), attendees should socially distance from those they don’t live with, including other people they know, for example, in a community centre

If partaking in a formal activity, including activity clubs, youth groups and support groups, users of community facilities should limit their social interactions with anyone they do not live with. Although activities may have 30 or more people participating, exceeding those in a household or bubble, where appropriate social distancing and risk mitigation is in place to make it COVID-19 Secure. It is also important for people to maintain social distancing and good hand hygiene when visiting using community facilities.

  • Cleaning

 

All surfaces, especially those most frequently touched, should be cleaned regularly, using standard cleaning products. If you are cleaning after a known or suspected case of COVID-19 then you should refer to the specific guidance. See also Waste Disposal (in non-healthcare settings) guidance on how to dispose of face coverings and PPE in a business setting.

Sufficient time needs to be allowed for this cleaning to take place, particularly before reopening. Frequently used objects, surfaces or spaces, including for example doorways between outside and inside spaces should be given particular attention when cleaning.

Where possible, non-fire doors and windows should be opened to improve ventilation in the premises. Other measures that will usually be needed are:

  • signs and posters to build awareness of good handwashing technique, the need to increase handwashing frequency, advice to avoid touching your face and to cough or sneeze into a tissue which is binned safely, or into your arm if a tissue is not available;
  • providing hand sanitiser in multiple locations, such as reception areas, in addition to washrooms
  • setting clear use and cleaning guidance for toilets to ensure they are kept clean and social distancing is achieved as much as possible; and
  • providing hand drying facilities (paper towels or electrical dryers)
  • businesses should provide extra bins for staff and customers to throw away face coverings and PPE, and should ensure that staff and customers do not use a recycling bin
  • Hygiene and face coverings

 

On entering and leaving a community facility everyone, including staff, should be asked to wash their hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds using soap and water or to use hand sanitiser if hand washing facilities are not available.

In England, face coverings are currently required by law to be worn in the following settings: shops, supermarkets, indoor transport hubs, indoor shopping centres, banks, building societies, post offices and on public transport. From 8 August, face coverings will be required by law to be worn in a greater number of public indoor settings including: museums, galleries, cinemas, places of worship, and public libraries.

Evidence suggests that wearing a face covering does not protect you. However, if you are infected but have not yet developed symptoms, it may provide some protection for others you come into close contact with. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you and your household must isolate at home; wearing a face covering does not change this.

Face coverings do not replace social distancing. Even if a face covering is used, staff and users of the space should continue to wash hands regularly and maintain social distancing. If users of the space choose to wear one, it is important to use face coverings properly and thoroughly wash hands before putting them on and taking them off.

Face coverings should not be used by children under the age of 11 or those who may find it difficult to manage them correctly – see a list of individuals this might apply to.

You should be prepared to remove your face covering if asked to do so by police officers and staff for the purposes of identification.

Please be mindful that the wearing of a face covering may inhibit communication with people who rely on lip reading, facial expressions and clear sound.

  • Vulnerable people

Certain groups of people are at increased risk of severe disease from coronavirus (COVID-19), including all people aged 70 or over. Such individuals are advised to stay at home as much as possible and, if they do go out, to take particular care to minimise contact with others outside of their household.

6-     Toilets

Public toilets, portable toilets and toilets inside premises should be kept open and carefully managed to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

Steps that will usually be needed:

  • Using signs and posters to build awareness of good handwashing technique, the need to increase handwashing frequency and to avoid touching your face, and to cough or sneeze into a tissue which is binned safely, or into your arm if a tissue is not available.
  • Consider the use of social distancing marking in areas where queues normally form, and the adoption of a limited entry approach, with one in, one out (whilst avoiding the creation of additional bottlenecks).
  • To enable good hand hygiene consider making hand sanitiser available on entry to toilets where safe and practical, and ensure suitable handwashing facilities including running water and liquid soap and suitable options for drying (either paper towels or hand driers) are available.
  • Setting clear use and cleaning guidance for toilets, with increased frequency of cleaning in line with usage. Use normal cleaning products, paying attention to frequently hand touched surfaces, and consider use of disposable cloths or paper roll to clean all hard surfaces.
  • Keep the facilities well ventilated, for example by fixing doors open where appropriate.
  • Special care should be taken for cleaning of portable toilets and larger toilet blocks.
  • Putting up a visible cleaning schedule can keep it up to date and visible.
  • Providing more waste facilities and more frequent rubbish collection.

 

7-     Noise

All venues should ensure that steps are taken to avoid people needing to unduly raise their voices to each other. This includes – but is not limited to – refraining from playing music or broadcasts that may encourage shouting, including if played at a volume that makes normal conversation difficult. This is because of the potential for increased risk of transmission – particularly from aerosol and droplet transmission.

Rehearsal and training is permitted in these venues, where it meets the COVID-19 secure guidelines.

 

8- NHS Test and Trace (collecting attendee data)

The opening up of the economy following the COVID-19 outbreak is being supported by NHS Test and Trace. You should assist this service by keeping a temporary record of your customers, visitors and staff for 21 days, in a way that is manageable for your organisation, and assist NHS Test and Trace with requests for that data if needed. This could help contain clusters or outbreaks.

Many organisations that take bookings already have systems for recording their customers and visitors – including restaurants, hotels, and hair salons. If you do not already do this, you should do so to help fight the virus. Find further guidance on how to put this in place.

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.

Premises or locations following COVID-19 secure guidelines will be able to hold more than 30 people, subject to their own capacity limits. It is important for people to maintain social distancing and good hand hygiene when visiting these spaces. People using community facilities should continue to limit their interactions with those they do not live with outside of any formal activities they are participating in to help control the virus.

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.