Restarting Normal Activities


Current Advice from The Third Age Trust (TAT)

A summary of u3a advice, updated on 26th March, can be seen by clicking on Latest TAT Advice. Some elements of the advice are not fully in line with Government statements.

Welsh Government Statements

Latest position as of 12th April:

The Coronavirus Control Plan has been updated on 19th March and has reinstated the table of regulatory restrictions at each of the four alert levels. Guidance is available at Current Restrictions. Up to six people from two households may meet outdoors, including in private gardens. Travel restrictions into or out of Wales were removed on 12th April. Subject to the public health situation remaining favourable, organised activities with up to 30 people outdoors can restart from 26th April. Organised indoor activities with up to 15 people in gyms, leisure centres and community centres etc. are expected to be allowed to restart from 17th May.

UK Government Statements

There is currently a national lockdown for England, under which people should stay at home except for limited specific reasons. Information is available at National Lockdown Guidance. The Prime Minister has announced a phased removal of restrictions in England, subject to meeting key criteria.
The key points relevant to u3a activities are:
29th March - stay at home rule ended; return to rule of 6 for outdoor activities; organised outdoor sport possible
12th April - indoor leisure facilities can reopen, but no indoor mixing between different households
Not before 17th May - adult indoor group sports and exercise classes can restart; up to 30 people can meet outdoors; rule of 6 applies indoors
Not before 21st June - all legal restrictions removed.
More detail can be found at Covid-19 Response including useful summary tables on pages 43 and 44.

Face Coverings - Wales and England

Face coverings are required in all indoor public places. The only indoor public areas where face coverings are not 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 seated for eating or drinking.

Travel Restrictions - Wales and England

Travel within Wales and travel into and out of England is allowed from 12th April.
In England, domestic travel restrictions were lifted on 29th March, but unnecessary travel is discouraged.

Getting Our U3A Back to Normal

With the various UK governments frequently changing advice and restrictions, we are actively looking at how and when groups can 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 take place. The TAT has confirmed that risk assessments are 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 agree a risk assessment to be submitted 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 approved 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.

Restarting u3a Activities

Until further notice, there must be no face-to-face Chepstow U3A activities.

Wales is in transition from Alert level 4 (Lockdown) to Alert Level 3; in England, a phased removal of restrictions is planned - see above. Based on latest Welsh government indications, and subject to the public health situation remaining favourable, the likely dates for restarting face-to-face activities are:

26th April

  • Organised outdoor activities with up to 30 people (15 for cycling)

17th May

  • Organised indoor activities with up to 15 people (Wales only)
  • Organised indoor sport/exercise activities (England)

21st June

  • Remaining organised indoor activities (England)

Until otherwise announced, face-to-face activities will remain subject to risk assessment, numbers limits, social distancing and face coverings indoors.
Prior to restarting indoor activities, we will need to check indoor venue risk assessments and reopening plans, and update u3a activity risk assessments as necessary.

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, Coffee Mornings and Tuesday Live

Monthly Meetings. At the moment our best guess is that the earliest we will use the Drill Hall is August and, if the current social distancing rules are still applicable, then numbers will be limited to less than 40, maybe only 15. We will be looking at having a ‘live’ meeting with a small number of members present that is ‘Zoomed’ out to other members on the internet.

Coffee Mornings. These are currently suspended.

Tuesday Live. Our twice monthly sessions on Zoom will continue until July at least.

However, the situation is so unpredictable that all of this may change.