COVID Information

Ventilation is key to good covid hygiene. Windows should be open when any group meets. If an exercise class is being held, windows should all be open. If the exercise is strenuous, the doors should also be propped open to the outside.

Please download following documents for information about hire and use:

A small group of committee members has been meeting regularly, since the prospect of halls re-opening was announced, to consider all the issues raised in the regulations and guidance and to make the appropriate arrangements. The hall will be able to re-open from Monday, 7th September 2020. However, this is subject to any variations in government regulations and guidance that may emerge now and in the future. Also, it is important to note that any re-opening will not simply take us back to how we operated pre-lockdown.

The only parts of the hall to be available will be the main hall, the toilets, the kit- chen and storerooms with certain restrictions. The Dampier Room and the stage will be closed. The Dampier Room does not lend itself to social distancing and, in any case, is required for the Covid-19 room that we are obliged to establish. Further details of the restrictions will be provided to user groups prior to re-opening. These will mainly concern the maximum numbers allowed in any area at any one time to meet the regulations and to provide safety and security.

The hall has established its own risk assessment and each user group will be expected to have one for their own particular activity. The hall assessment will be provided to each group as well as an exemplar of how to undertake their own. If a group has a covid-19 risk assessment based on exemplars from their own trade, professional or sporting body then that will be acceptable. However, the hall committee will require that each group confirms by email that such a risk assessment has been completed before their entry key is re-activated and they are permitted to return to the hall.

The hall will operate a one way system with entry via the main front entrance and exit via the exit doors next to the chair store. Clear markings will be provided to aid social distancing on entry. A hand sanitiser dispenser will be located in the lobby area which everyone entering the hall will be expected to use. The only person permitted to enter via the kitchen will be the key holder to enable the opening of the hall for the group.

The hall will be deep cleaned by our usual contracted cleaning company just prior to re-opening. Our regular cleaner has agreed to work Monday to Friday each morning to enhance cleaning. However, each group will be expected to clean chairs and tables used both before and after use and also any areas touched by members such as light switches, surfaces etc. More details on how this should be achieved will be issued prior to re-opening. Curtains should only be touched using plastic gloves which will be provided.

Revised government guidance now indicates that most, but not all, of the activities undertaken by our regular users are now permitted. However, it will be necessary to allow a 30 minute period between each booking to permit the necessary cleaning before and after an activity to take place. An analysis of the normal, regular weekly bookings shows that most activities could be accommodated with some requirement to vary starting and finishing times by approximately 15 minutes either way for some groups. The biggest problem involves groups normally using the Dampier Room which will remain closed. Wherever possible we will offer alternative accommodation in the main hall but this may not always be possible. Specific details will be provided later this month. It is also possible that before the planned re-opening some activities may be returned to the government banned list as things seem to change with alarming rapidity.

I am sorry that all this may seem draconian but we are obliged to follow regulations and guidance. We are trying to work through this to make a re-opening as least burdensome as possible for all concerned. If we all work together in a positive spirit of co-operation and common sense we should be able to achieve this for most regular groups. A lot of work has gone into getting us this far and I hope that you will be prepared to do your bit to make the, albeit limited, re-opening work safely and successfully.

John Hollis
Chairman – Hall Management Committee
10 August 2020