Step 4 - continuing to live with the virus!

Page last updated 28th September 2021


With the removal of Covid restrictions in the summer, many village and community halls have reopened for the enjoyment of their local community. Since then, halls have been making informed decisions about their particular circumstances and have been acting carefully and proportionally in order to manage any potential risks with the help of ACRE's Information Sheet version 11.

While legal restrictions no longer apply at Step 4, the Government announced their Covid-19 'Autumn and Winter Plan 2021'

which sets out their main approach to controlling the virus, with a Plan A and Plan B along with advice on how we all should behave. With the winter months approaching and fears that there may be a more pronounced third wave of the virus, the ACRE Network is urging hall managers to take note of this latest government guidance for keeping their users safe.

ACRE issued a briefing on 22nd September, to reflect how the 'Autumn and Winter Plan' now affects how halls should be operating. This includes keeping spaces well ventilated, encouraging the use of face masks and continued use of Track and Trace QR codes - although none of these are still required by law. The briefing aims to reassure volunteers managing village halls that they can continue to serve local communities in the confidence that they are doing everything they can to keep everyone safe.  

ACRE Briefing Update - Covid-19 Winter Plan

Covid Pass - The government has issued further guidance about using the NHS Covid Pass here.  

This confirms the view given in the recent Briefing that its use is unlikely to be appropriate at village and community halls, where events are less crowded and whose facilities and services are normally designed to be accessible to all.

 If a specific event fulfils one of the criteria (shown below) the question of who/how to steward and apply the exceptions (listed in the guidance) would need to be addressed.  
The section "Use of the NHS COVID Pass is voluntary for individual organisations" explains that its use is encouraged in facilities or events "where people are likely to be in close proximity to a large number of people from other households for a sustained period of time.

This is likely to include settings that have the following characteristics:

  • Crowded, unstructured indoor settings such as nightclubs and music venues.
  • Large unstructured outdoor events such as business events and festivals.
  • Very large structured events such as business events, music and spectator sport events.

There are some settings where the NHS COVID Pass should not be used as a condition of entry, in order to ensure access for all. This includes essential services and essential retailers which have been able to stay open throughout the pandemic.

If you use the NHS COVID Pass, you should ensure that you comply with all relevant legal obligations and guidance, including on equalities.

ACRE Information Sheet V11 - Update for Village & Community Halls July 2021

NHS Poster - Covid-19 Response: Autumn 2021 (September 2021)

The country is leaning to live with coronavirus and the main line of defence is vaccination. This new poster displays the safer behaviours, actions and practical steps we can all take to help protect ourselves and others. They reflect the latest Government guidance in Plan A of the Covid-19: Autumn & Winter Plan.

If halls want to remind users of how they should behave whilst on the premises, download the poster here.

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Appendices

The documents highlighted in ORANGE are the latest updates, but please be aware all information is subject to amendment/update as a result of the changeable environment.

We will update the documents as and when we receive the appropriate guidance/updates ourselves. We will also send out emails when any significant changes are made so please make sure you are signed up to receive our email updates.

Appendix A Reopening Checklist  July 2021

Appendix B Re-Opening Questionaire    July 2021

Appendix C Covid Secure Poster   July 2021

Appendix D The Practicalities   July 2021

Appendix E Sample Special Conditions of Hire Winter 2021 September 2021

Appendix F Risk Assessment for Hall Committees  July 2021

Appendix G Risk Assessment for Hall Hirers    July 2021

Appendix H First Aid Box  July 2021

Appendix I Play Poster   July 2021

Appendix J   REMOVED

Appendix K    REMOVED

Appendix L Treatment Plan July 2021

Appendix M Test and Trace   July 2021

legionella-guidance-covid-19.pdf    3rd July

Guides on reopening Halls and Churches - 20th August

Please find below two excellent guides to help halls and churches with re-opening preparations.

IF_DO__Safer_Churches_Aug_2020_Covid19.pdf

The Safer Community Centres guide: A comprehensive guide for village halls and community buildings.

Click Here

Latest Government Guidance for Out-of-school settings

The Government has also published new guidance for organisations or individuals who provide community activities, tuition, holiday clubs or after-school clubs for children, as well as their staff and volunteers, which acknowledges that these are often held in village and church halls. Please click the link below:

gov.uk/protective-measures-for-holiday-or-after-school-clubs-and-other-out-of-school-settings-for-children-during-covid-19