Restarting Normal Activities

Current Advice from The Third Age Trust (TAT) - 21st September

  • U3A undertakes charitable services and meets the ‘charitable services’ exemption under Welsh Coronavirus Regulations, allowing large group meetings.
  • Gatherings in England are limited by the ‘rule of 6’ (except for walking).
  • U3A activities may take place subject to venue and sport National Governing Body restrictions as applicable.
  • No interest group can be conducted inside a private home.

There are strict rules to be followed by those organising such activities.
If there is a local or national lockdown arrangement, the lockdown arrangements will take precedence over the guidance.
We must follow government regulations and lockdown guidance at all times.
TAT have issued country by country advice for restarting activities. We have reviewed the advice for Wales and advice for England and believe that the approach outlined here and in the activity risk assessments is in line with this advice, and therefore the public liability insurance will be valid.

Welsh Government Statements

A short, sharp “circuit breaker” or “fire-break” will be introduced across Wales to help regain control of coronavirus. This means that a series of restrictive measures will be in place from 6pm Friday 23 October until the start of Monday 9 November 2020. Details can be found at Circuit Break Q&A.

Face Coverings - Wales and England

Face coverings will be required in all indoor public places. The only indoor public areas where face coverings will not be required are where you are inside a place to eat or drink, for example, cafés, restaurants and pubs. However, you will need to wear a face covering unless you are actually eating or drinking.

Travel Restrictions - Wales and England

Residents in Welsh areas under lockdown must not travel outside their area, and residents from areas without restrictions must not travel into lockdown areas.
English residents from high alert (Tier 2) and very-high alert (Tier 3) areas must not travel to Wales. Resident from medium alert (Tier 1) areas may travel to areas of Wales which are not under lockdown.
There are very limited exceptions to these restrictions.

Getting Our U3A Back to Normal

With the various UK governments gradually easing lockdown measures, we are actively looking at how and when groups may be able to go back to in-person meetings. In preparation for a return to normal activities this web page will display the most up-to-date information. Here is the procedures that we have to follow.

  • In order that any return to ‘normal’ activities is properly managed, the committee has decided that no U3A group should resume face-to-face activities without the specific approval of the committee. This is to ensure that our duty of care to our members is fulfilled. Until the restart of an activity has been approved, it cannot take place as a U3A activity and would not be covered by U3A public liability insurance.
  • The committee will take on board advice from TAT and formulate advice on the measures that we consider should be taken to ensure the risks to members are sufficiently low to allow face-to-face activities to restart. The TAT has already indicated that risk assessments would be required, both for the activity and for each member participating.
  • When government guidance and TAT advice indicate that face-to-face activities may resume, we will ask conveners of groups that wish to restart such activities to submit a risk assessment to the committee, taking account of the advice provided and showing how the risks would be managed for the particular activity. The committee will provide support and assistance in preparing risk assessments.
  • If the committee give approval to restart, participating members will need to review the activity risk assessment and carry out their own personal risk assessment, taking account of their individual circumstances, before deciding whether they wish to participate.

Please be assured that the committee wants normal activities to be able to resume as soon as it is safe and legal to do so and will do our best to facilitate this. In the meantime we will continue to promote our ‘Virtual U3A’ activities.

Maximum Group Sizes

No groups should be meeting during the Welsh national 'circuit break' lockdown from 6pm Friday 23 October until the start of Monday 9 November 2020. Different restrictions may apply after the lockdown ends and will be put on this page when known.

Walking30 (Wales and England*)
Cycling15 (Wales); or multiple separate groups of 6 (England*)
Other Outdoor Groups30 (Wales); or 6 (England*)
Indoor Venue Meetings30 (Wales); or 6 (England*)
Private Garden Meetings30 (Wales); or 6 (England*)
Private Home MeetingsNot allowed

*only in Local COVID alert level: medium (Tier 1) areas. Groups should not meet in high (Tier 2) or very high (Tier 3) areas.
Indoor venue meetings are also subject to any limits identified in the venue risk assessment.
Other sports with a National Governing Body (Badminton, Table Tennis) are subject to restrictions imposed by the National Governing Body, which may be more or less onerous.
In case of challenge, we have prepared a statement outlining the legal basis for our groups being allowed to meet in Wales and in numbers greater than the normal limits in the regulations.

Risk Assessments, Covid Requirements, and Reference Documents

Group Risk AssessmentsActivity Group Risk Assessments. Checklist for completing them. Third Age Trust (TAT) standard Risk Assessment for outdoor groups.
Venue Risk Assessments and RequirementsVenues used by our Groups. Their Risk Assessments and Covid conditions of use.
Road Map to Restarting Normal ActivitiesOur planned step by step approach to restarting our Activity Groups.

Monthly Meetings

The earliest we will be able to use the Drill Hall is in the New Year and social distancing will significantly reduce numbers to less than 40. We will then be looking at having a ‘live’ meeting with a smaller number of members present that is ‘Zoomed’ out to other members on the internet.

This means that Tuesday Live will continue for the remainder of 2020.