COVID-19 Guidance when using the church buildings

Guidance for group members

We have undertaken a risk assessment in accordance with Government guidance and ask for your cooperation in following these guidelines.

  • Please wear a face covering at the church buildings. From 8 August, this is a legal requirement apart from valid exceptions listed in the Government guidance on face coverings. If you forget, please speak to the group leader.
  • If you arrive by car, use alternate spaces in the car park where possible.
  • Always keep 2m distance from people who are not in your household or support bubble.
  • Do not go into any room other than that allocated to your group.
  • Use the hand sanitiser provided when entering and exiting the building.
  • Only sit together with people in your household or support bubble. Chairs have been arranged to ensure social distancing – please don’t move them. Stay seated unless you need to use the toilet or dispose of tissues in the bin.
  • Don’t sing or shout. Recorded music may be listened to, provided voices are not raised to speak over it.
  • Don’t share items, e.g. Bibles
  • Drinks and food will not be served, but you may bring your own and use your own cup, etc.
  • If you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue (or the crook of your sleeved arm, not your hands, if you don’t have a tissue), and throw the tissue away in the bin provided immediately afterwards. Then wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds using soap and water or use hand sanitiser.
  • If you need to use the toilet, only use those adjacent to your meeting room. Use hand sanitiser before entering. When you have finished, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap. Use a paper towel to open the door and put it in the bin provided.
  • At the close of the meeting, leave the building as directed by the leader, taking personal items with you.
  • Only booked groups can use the church buildings. Do not enter the buildings at any other time.
  • Do not come to church if you have a new, continuous cough or a high temperature or loss of or change to sense of smell or taste. Follow the Government guidance on staying at home and self-isolating. This is to minimise risk of spread of COVID-19 to friends, the wider community, and particularly the vulnerable.

If someone becomes unwell with COVID-19 symptoms while at church

  • They should go home immediately and follow the Government guidance on staying at home and self-isolating. If they need clinical advice, they should go online to NHS 111 (or call 111 if they don’t have internet access). 
  • In an emergency, call 999 if they are seriously ill or injured or their life is at risk. They should not visit the GP, pharmacy, urgent care centre or a hospital.
  • Other people who may have been in contact with the person who has become unwell should wash their hands thoroughly after the interaction, but they do not need to take any other specific action unless they develop symptoms themselves or are advised to do so by NHS Test and Trace. If they do develop symptoms they should follow the stay at home guidance.
  • The group leader must notify Mark immediately and ensure cleaning is carried out following the instructions for a COVID-19 incident. These are available in the cleaning cupboard and here. Single-use aprons, masks and gloves are provided in the cleaning cupboard.

Government advice about clinically vulnerable people

The NHS has written to people who are considered to be ‘extremely clinically vulnerable’ and they have been advised to ‘shield’ until at least 1 August. Certain other groups of people may also be at increased risk of severe disease from COVID-19 (‘clinically vulnerable’), including those who are aged 70 or older, are pregnant or who have certain medical conditions.

In addition to protecting yourself, following Government advice on social distancing and hygiene precautions is particularly important in helping to protect vulnerable people.

Government advice about face coverings

‘The best available scientific evidence is that, when used correctly, wearing a face covering may reduce the spread of coronavirus droplets in certain circumstances, helping to protect others. Because face coverings are mainly intended to protect others, not the wearer, from coronavirus (COVID-19) they are not a replacement for social distancing and regular hand washing.’ More information about making and using face coverings is available here.

NHS Test and Trace – privacy information

In order to support the NHS Test and Trace programme, we are taking contact details (name and telephone number) for all users of the buildings. In line with guidance issued by the Department for Health and Social Care, we will keep your details safely and in compliance with GDPR legislation for 21 days before securely disposing of or deleting them. We will only share your details with NHS Test and Trace, if asked, in the event that it is needed to help stop the spread of coronavirus. We will not use your details for any other purpose or pass them on to anyone else. 

Thank you for your understanding. If you agree to your information being used for this reason, please complete and return the consent form provided. We need your explicit written consent because you may have revealed a religious belief by attending the groups that are currently running in our church buildings. You can withdraw your consent at any time by speaking to your group leader and your details will not be passed to NHS Test and Trace after this time. Further details, including your data rights, are available in our COVID-19 privacy notice.

31/07/2020 . Issue 3