The government has published the ‘COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021’, setting out the roadmap out of the current lockdown for England.
There will be at least five weeks between the steps in the roadmap. The indicative, ‘no earlier than’ dates in the roadmap are all contingent on the data and subject to change. Outdoor activity has been prioritised because the likelihood of COVID-19 transmission is substantially lower in the open air than indoors.
The main changes relevant to our community groups:
Actually, the main thing to note is that there isn’t much change at all in the short term. All the usual face-to-face activities that you may have been offering pre-pandemic are still largely off the table until at least 17th May. There remains a specific exemption for support groups with up to 15 people as there has been throughout lockdown, but advice in Calderdale is to avoid face-to-face groups unless absolutely necessary and can’t be done online. If you are going to use this exemption to offer ‘in-person’ services, feel free to get in touch for advice, and a good idea would be to get a representative to join our Covid Champions programme, so that someone in the organisation is really well informed about the virus and how to stop the spread, and has access to regular Q & As if issues arise.
There may well be an argument that groups that have previously only offered online services are now needed face-to-face as the impact of prolonged restrictions bites harder on well-being of the people who are being supported. Again, feel free to get in touch for advice on this.
From the 29th March
The rule of 6 will apply, so either 6 individuals or two households can meet up OUTDOORS. This may free up some of our community groups to organise some small OUTDOOR activities or support groups.
Outdoor children’s activities will also be allowed, as will outdoor parent & children groups.
Activities indoors and community centres etc must remain closed.
From the 12th April at the earliest
Community centres may re-open (although only for certain activities)
All children’s activities are permitted, indoors and outdoors
Indoor Parent & Children groups (up to 15 parents/carers)
Indoor leisure allowed, but only individually eg swimming – so, for example, a yoga class, or taekwondo etc still not possible unless it’s just for children
Social distancing and contact guidelines are still in place.
From 17th May at the earliest
This step is less clear, as the government has made it clear that more may be allowed, depending on data, but for now:
Adult indoor group sports and exercise classes will be allowed.
30 people allowed to gather outdoors, but rule of 6 or 2 households remains for indoors
Some controlled larger events may be allowed up to either 1000 people or 50% of the venue’s capacity. (Not sure how this chimes with the rule of 6 for indoors, but that’s what the guidance says).
Rules on social contact and distancing may be less strict
But advice will remain to work from home if possible.