IN light of the number of Coronavirus cases rising sharply in Ceredigion, an updated position statement from Ceredigion partners to further ensure the health and safety of our communities is necessary.
First Minister Mark Drakeford announced that multi-purpose community centres including community centres, village halls, church halls and other community facilities could reopen from 30 July. However, Welsh Government announced changes in the regulations on 7 August and the national guidance has since been updated to ensure compliance with other developments such as the use of face coverings in indoor public spaces which became mandatory in Wales on Monday 14 September. Welsh Government continue to advise authorities that the regulations on social gathering will still prevent a number of activities from taking place at community venues.
A multi-agency panel has been set up to advise and support around the safe and proportionate reopening of facilities in line with national guidance. The panel has been created under Ceredigion’s Public Services Board Sub Group; Understanding our Communities. Leading on the development of the group is Ceredigion Association of Voluntary Organisations (CAVO) and Ceredigion County Council in partnership with Heddlu Dyfed Powys Police and Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service. The panel includes representation from Health & Safety, Environmental Health and Community Safety.
Specification around permitted activities is noted under Welsh Government regulation 14 for imposing Coronavirus restrictions. However, in light of the number of Coronavirus cases rising sharply in Ceredigion, the multi-agency panel now will provide an updated position statement for Ceredigion to further ensure the health and safety of our communities.
If an activity or service is permitted under regulation 14, the panel strongly advises making every effort to carry out the activity digitally or make contact by phone. If not, consider whether it is possible to hold the activity outdoors, in-line with Welsh Government guidance. Holding an activity indoors should only be considered as a last resort. If this is the only option and it’s essential that the session is brief and involve as few people as possible, with all necessary procedures and protocols in place.
Those responsible for community activities should remember to;
- maintain a physical distance of 2 meters when meeting up indoors or outdoors with anyone who is not in your extended household of 6.
- wear a face-covering in indoor public spaces.
- regularly wash your hands for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer provided.
Although community venues do not need the Local Authority’s approval to reopen for permitted activities, the Welsh Government is strongly encouraging those managing centres to inform the local authority if they plan on reopening any community facilities. The panel is strongly encouraging anyone responsible for community facilities to seek advice to ensure that arrangements are safe and secure and that compliance is in line with national guidance. Prior to re-opening any community facility, those managing centres must ensure that they are ‘Covid-Free Zones’.
Furthermore, as cases increase across Wales, it is critical to continue to review the situation and do all that we can to protect our communities from further infection transmission and therefore careful consideration should be given prior to allowing any indoor activity at community venues at this point in time, even if it is a permitted activity.
Those responsible for community venues and events are asked to consider whether now is the right time to reopen or allow increased activity at your venue. This update follows a recent announcement by the Local Authority to close all Council-run Leisure Facilities as a precautionary measure following the increase in positive cases across the County.
The multi-agency panel will continue to support and advise Community Groups and Organisations, and questions or information requests can be submitted to the group which meets on a weekly basis via CAVO on firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 01570 423232.