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Coronavirus: Information for Community and Village Halls

Published: 8th Jul, 2020

Coronavirus: Information for Community and Village Halls


Guidance on reopening

During the Covid-19 crisis, support for village and community hall committee members has been available through our advisor, Graham Betts, and our national body ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England).

Following on from the government's announcement that that village and community halls are allowed to reopen if they wish to (as of 4 July), ACRE has produced detailed guidance for management committees to support the safe reopening of buildings.

Included in the guidance is a step-by-step approach, key considerations, a checklist and risk assessment template.

COVID-19 Information Sheet - Reopening - UPDATED APRIL 2021
Appendix A - Reopening checklist
Appendix B - Reopening questionnaire
Appendix C - Display poster - UPDATED 30 SEPT 2020
Appendix D - Management of Social Distancing at Community Facilities and Activities - UPDATED 22 APRIL 2021
Appendix E - Sample Special Conditions of Hire during COVID-19 - UPDATED 30 SEPT
Appendix F - Covid 19 Risk Assessment for Community Halls - UPDATED 26 MARCH 2021
Appendix G - COVID-19 Risk Assessment for hirers - UPDATED 26 MARCH 2021
Appendix H - Opening your Village Hall after lockdown
Appendix I -  Playground and Play Equipment signage
Appendix J - Performances in village and community halls
Appendix K - Indoor and outdoor exercise and sport
Appendix L - COVID-19 treatment plan
Appendix M - Test and Trace QR code - UPDATED 30 SEPT 2020

Key points to note  

 8 January 2021

ACRE have provided a list of activities, given below, which are permitted during this lockdown. As Trustees you may wish to consider which is the best option is for your premises in meeting its objects. You are under no obligation to open or to accept any booking and it may be appropriate to contact you Council to ask about the possibility of opening and still be eligible for a grant under the discretionary element of the scheme.

Activities for which halls may remain open: 

  • Early years provision and childcare, e.g., Pre-schools and Nurseries
  • Education and training – for schools to use sports, leisure, and community facilities where that is part of their normal provision - for children of critical workers and vulnerable children. 
  • Supervised out of school childcare activities for those children eligible to attend school (i.e., children of critical workers and vulnerable children). 
  • Hosting blood donation sessions and food banks 
  • To provide medical services, dental treatment (including COVID-19 vaccinations) and veterinary services. 
  • For elite sports persons to train and compete, and professional dancers and choreographers to work, for disabled sport. 
  • For training and rehearsal without an audience (as a concert hall) 
  • For the purposes of film and TV filming 
  • Support groups that have to be delivered in person can continue with up to 15 participants where formally organised by a business, charitable, benevolent or philanthropic institution or a public body to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support to its members or those who attend. 
  • People are allowed to leave home for work or providing voluntary or charitable services, where it is unreasonable to do so from home. This includes hall maintenance, meter readings etc.
  • Distribution centres operated by businesses are permitted to remain open and halls may therefore be used for e.g., packing by local companies. 
  • Wedding ceremonies may only take place in exceptional circumstances, attended by no more than 6 people. 
  • Funerals can be attended by a maximum of 30 people. Linked religious, belief-based or commemorative events can also continue with up to 6 people in attendance. 
  • Voting in an election or referendum 
  • Essential retail such as Community Shops providing food, newspapers etc., post offices, pharmacies, nurseries, and garden centres. 
  • Community cafes and community shops may provide take-away food and nonalcoholic drink. 
  • Market stalls selling essential retail only. 
  • Outdoor playgrounds, gardens, recreation fields, allotments. 
  • Public toilets 
  • For providing a place of worship

5 November

The latest update from ACRE gives guidance to village halls and community buildings in relation to the lockdown in England which started on Thursday 5 November.

 It is available to view and download here: Latest Covid information from ACRE

25 September

We have received an update to the Village Hall Reopening Information Sheet from ACRE.  This is expressly devoted to dealing with the Covid Track and Trace 'App' system now established.

The update, Appendix M, is listed above and contains a lot of important detail. Our Village Halls Advisor Graham Betts has given an overview of the main points (below) based on his interpretation, but please read through the update for the full information and link to website giving the QR Code.

Graham said: "You, the Trustees, must get an NHS QR Code for the Village Hall. This must be available for scanning at events that YOU organise, including Committee meetings, AGM and any other charity organised events. 

"You can require your hirers organising events to get their own NHS QR Code for their event and make it available for scanning at the event they are responsible for. In this case they SHOULD NOT use the QR Code for the Village Hall.

"You need to decide which system best suits you. IN BOTH CASES the manual collection of details of those attending must also be available and retained.

"You will see from Appendix M that new Hire Condition SC9 wording options have been provided covering this." 

7 July

We have received additional information following the government's major changes to the Health Protection Regulations on 4 July.

Most of the changes, especially to village halls advice, have already been anticipated in the government guidance and in our information sheet thanks to ACRE's close working with government departments.

However, it is important to note that while ACRE's guidance is information designed to assist with reopening, it must be considered alongside government guidance, which is now part of secondary legislation.

We understand that ACRE are again taking into account the changes and will be issuing another revised guidance document, which will be included on this page as soon as it is available.

ALSO, PLEASE NOTE: The organisers of activities who hire premises will need to carry out their own COVID-19 Risk Assessment. Appendix G can be adapted for this use. 

If you are a village hall member of Shropshire RCC and have any further questions, please contact our Village Halls Advisor Graham Betts - graham.betts@community-resource.org.uk

If you are not currently a member and are interested in becoming one, click here


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