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Update on restarting group activities face-to-face

Last month, we told you that our Health & Safety Team were studying governmental guidance to see what our groups would need to do if they wanted to resume face-to-face activities.

This work is now complete, and we have created guidance documents for groups to use in order to restart certain low-risk activities in managed venues, and ‘COVID-secure’ SLAs to enable exercise classes. The appropriate new document(s) will need to be completed and approved for each activity before a group can restart it, and new processes will have to be put in place.

We have made the new paperwork and processes as straightforward as possible, but the requirements will place additional tasks and responsibilities on volunteers organising activities. We need to see how it all works in practice, and to make sure we are able to support groups effectively.

Twenty groups who are keen to restart activities have agreed to work with us to test the new approach. We will run a trial with these groups until the end of October and then (subject to the COVID situation in each nation at the time) work on timings for a wider roll out.

If your group is not included in the trial, our message remains that the suspension of all face-to-face activities must continue. Any activity which is resumed outside the new requirements, and without the correct paperwork in place, could put people at risk, and will not be covered by our insurance.

Some of you have been thinking ahead to Christmas parties, and asking whether these will be able to happen as usual. This is hard to predict so far in advance, but we would advise you not to make a booking unless it can be cancelled nearer the time. If you are being pushed to confirm an existing booking, we would suggest that you cancel now rather than risk losing any money.

We appreciate your continuing patience as we take the first careful steps in allowing our groups to restart face-to-face activities, whilst keeping everyone safe. As we said before, we know that not all groups will wish to do this, and that is fine. It is important that volunteers do not feel under any pressure to participate in person until they feel comfortable to do so.