At the meeting of the Committee of Ashbourne & District u3a on 31 August 2021, the following Guidance was agreed for the purpose of the continued function or resumption of activities subsequent to the removal on 19 July 2021 of all Government regulations relating to Covid-19.
Everybody should continue to remain cautious, exercise common sense when meeting, and respect each other’s personal space (see Footnotes).
No proof of full vaccination against Covid-19 or of a negative test is required prior to participation in an activity.
Nevertheless, it is hoped that, out of respect for other members, participants will have had such vaccination or negative test.
Members are recommended to wear face masks in crowded settings although no obligation to do so is imposed (see Footnotes).
If a majority attending an activity decide that face masks should be worn, the other members attending should honour that decision or leave the activity.
As activities resume, every member should take the following steps for managing transmission levels:
- Do not participate in a u3a activity if suffering with Covid-19 symptoms, suspicious of possible infection, or otherwise feeling unwell.
- Get a Covid-19 test.
Any member showing any symptoms of Covid-19 within 14 days after participating in a u3a activity must promptly notify the leader of the activity or a member of the Committee of Ashbourne u3a, apply for a Covid-19 test, & then promptly notify the leader or committee member of the result of the test.
No pressure is imposed on Group Leaders to resume activities in their own homes (see Footnotes).
The Committee will fully support a member offering to host an activity in that member’s private home who:
- Requires that every participant in the activity personally assures the host that the participant has been full vaccinated against Covid-19 or had a recent negative test prior to participating in the activity (see Footnotes).
- Requires every participant entering the home to wear a face mask.
Although all travel restrictions have been lifted, members are recommended to wear face masks when sharing a car, it being a crowded setting.
Members should not put a homeowner offering to host an activity or a car owner offering a lift in an embarrassing situation by asking the owner if he/she wants members to wear a mask. Members should offer to do so without being asked.
Members must comply with safety measures imposed by businesses (eg pubs, owners of venues, etc) and service providers (eg vehicle hirer).
Group Leaders should:
- Check with the hirer of any venue or vehicle proposed to be used for any measures which they require for safe use of the venue or vehicle (see Footnotes,)
- Arrange to comply with those measures if intending to proceed to use the venue or vehicle despite the required measures (see Footnotes).
- Inform group participants of these.
Group Leaders should evaluate the adequacy of good ventilation throughout the proposed venue intended for use (see Footnotes).
Group Leaders should continue to compile a list of persons attending an activity and preserve it for at least 3 months.
Footnotes explaining the Committees’ Guidance.
- No dimension is now prescribed to define “social distancing” (ie there is no 2 metres rule).
- Covid-19 will be a feature of our lives for the foreseeable future. We need to learn to live with it and manage the risk to ourselves and each other.
- It is still possible to catch and spread Covid-19, even if fully vaccinated. Neither the Committee nor Group Leaders are responsible for welfare issues. It is important that we all as individuals use personal judgement to manage such issues.
- The current emphasis by the Government is that “good ventilation will remain very important in avoiding Covid”. While “washing our hands and maintaining social distancing helps to beat the virus, scientists say we also need to think about the air we breathe inside buildings. Good ventilation matters. If the air feels stale, something is wrong with the ventilation. Not enough fresh air is being introduced, which increases the chances of getting infected by coronavirus. In confined spaces there can be airborne transmission of the virus - with tiny virus particles lingering in the air. It is vital to have a flow of clean air. If someone who is infected is in a building, plenty of outside air being brought in is diluting whatever infectious material is being given off, reducing the risk of other people becoming infected”.
- The Government says it "expects and recommends" people to wear face masks in crowded areas although there is no legal requirement to.
- Group Leaders declining to resume activities in their own homes may have their own personal and private health and family concerns preventing them from resuming activities.
- If a Group Leader is not comfortable to resume activities in his/her home, then an alternative venue should be sought.
- There are no limits on how many people can meet indoors or outdoors or participate in any activity (apart from those applicable irrespective of the pandemic).
- Individual businesses and service providers may implement their own safety measures to manage risks. These might include proof of vaccination or a recent negative Covid-19 test, but are not expected currently to relate to more than the provision of good ventilation and reasonable personal space.
- If a venue or vehicle hirer requires evidence of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test, the member must provide it directly to the venue or vehicle hirer. The hirer needs to be aware of this process and have the ability to carry it out.
- u3as are not authorised to store evidence of vaccination or Covid-19 test results.