Re-opening post COVID-19 closure Issue 1 – Current on 30th July 2020


The halls committee has produced the following information based on the government guidelines for you and your group to consider before using the hall. The following information should be used to form the basis of hire and outlines the various behaviours that are required from your delegates and must be adhered to.


1. Planning for Re-opening

1.1 The COVID-19 Secure Guidelines

1.2 Social Distancing, Capacity and Test and Trace at Bredhurst Village Hall

1.3 Cleaning

1.4 Hiring Arrangements

1.5 Catering Arrangements

1.6 Procedures if Someone Becomes Unwell with COVID-19


A: Special Conditions of Hire during COVID-19

B: COVID-19 Treatment Plan


1. Planning for re-opening

1.1 The COVID-19 Secure Guidelines:

The leaders of your group need to be aware that the following 5 key points apply. These underpin COVID Secure status and this Information Sheet and arrangements should reflect them:

• Minimise contact with individuals who are unwell: Nobody should attend the premises if they have symptoms or are self-isolating due to symptoms in their household.

• Clean your hands often: Sanitiser or soap and water is provided at entry and exit points, sanitiser and/or running water, soap and paper towels in toilets and kitchens.

• Respiratory hygiene: Everyone needs to be encouraged to avoid touching their mouth, eyes, and nose. Tissues need to be disposed of into a bin, then hands cleaned. A “Catch it, Bin it, Kill it” poster is on display.

• Regular cleaning of surfaces that are touched frequently: including door handles, handrails, tabletops, sinks, toilet areas, kitchen surfaces. Ordinary domestic products can be used.

• Maintain social distancing where possible: Social distancing guidelines currently require at least 2 metres (3 steps) to be maintained between individuals and groups of up to 2 households where possible and, where not possible, 1metre plus other mitigation measures. Bookings can be accepted for events where social distancing can be maintained and contacts below 2m are minimised and transitory, but certain types of events cannot yet be held. See 1.2 below. Do not re-hire the hall until you have identified the necessary safety, compliance, management, and operational issues through a COVID-19 risk assessment and established a plan to address and mitigate them. You are not obliged to re-hire the hall immediately and it would be unwise to do so if you have not been through that process.

1.2. Social Distancing, capacity and test and trace at Bredhurst Village Hall

a) The Government Guidance on safe opening of community facilities emphasises the importance of ensuring adherence to social distancing of 2 metres or 1 metre with risk mitigation (where 2m is not viable). The size and layout of the hall determines the maximum number of people that can be accommodated while also facilitating social distancing to be 30 people. 

b) In general people are being advised to only meet indoors in groups of up to 2 households or, outdoors, meet in a group of up to 6 people from different households, following social distancing guidelines as far as possible. Those in single adult households can form a “support bubble” with another household. At an event, household groups are advised to limit social interactions with anyone outside the group they attend with as far as possible. The aim is to limit risk of transmission to small groups. Organisers of activities should lay rooms out so as to enable household groups to observe social distancing as far as possible. See also Appendix B.

c) User groups may not know at the outset how many people are likely to attend activities, a booking system may be a useful means of keeping within capacity and recording contact details for NHS Test and Trace. It would be preferable to ask groups to think about how they will deal with any excess, which may depend on the nature of their activity and the facilities at the hall e.g. “first come, first served”, using other space to increase capacity e.g. garden, re-running an activity later or on another day, some people joining in online either at home or via laptop in another room.

d) NHS Test and Trace: All groups are asked to assist NHS Test and Trace by keeping a temporary record of who attends for 21 days and to provide that data to NHS Test and Trace if needed. (It is not compulsory for people to provide information but could help contain outbreaks.)

e) Lapses in social distancing: Some lapses may be difficult to avoid, e.g. where people pass in internal corridors. Government guidance indicates that such transitory contacts are lower risk and it will be for hirers to try and arrange their activities to avoid these risks if possible, particularly for older or medically vulnerable people.

f) Pinch points: Arrangements will need to be made to manage people at “pinch points” e.g. arriving for an activity and exiting afterwards, in toilets, kitchens and corridors. There is a risk entrances could become congested owing to multiple user groups, or people lingering to read notices or chat; so a socially distanced queueing system has been implemented, e.g. signage ground outside and inside the entrance hall. Staggered arrival and departure times may help.

g) Implementing a one-way flow in and out of the premises should help avoid congestion. Entry will be via the main entrance, with people leaving via fire exits. For security, fire exits would need to be closed by the last person to leave the building, who then leaves via the main entrance. Appropriate signposting has been installed. The changes to entrances, exits and queues should, however, be considered for the needs of those with physical disabilities.

h) Face Coverings: The Government advice is that if you can, you should wear a face covering if in an enclosed space where social distancing isn’t possible. Also, where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet, which may include activities in the hall, such as preparing refreshments in the kitchen or using toilets. However, face coverings should not be taken on and off frequently, so while this is most relevant for short periods indoors in crowded areas such as public transport for the hall the priority is that social distancing and good hygiene are maintained. Face coverings should not be used by children under the age of 3 or those who would find it difficult to manage them correctly. Government guidance for community facilities states: “Face coverings do not replace social distancing. Even if a face covering is used, staff and users of the space should continue to wash hands regularly and maintain social distancing. If users of the space choose to wear one, it is important to use face coverings properly and thoroughly wash hands before putting them on and taking them off”. A face covering may provide some protection for others you come into close contact with if you have become infected but not yet developed symptoms. Consequently, where people will be in close proximity, and with older and/or clinically vulnerable people, a face covering is advisable to protect those people. Examples include preparing food or drink in the kitchen and serving older or clinically vulnerable people.

i) In case of emergency it is important to prioritise safety: In the event of fire or accident people do not have to stay 1 or 2m apart if it would be unsafe to do so.

1.3 Cleaning and encouraging good hygiene

All surfaces which are frequently touched should be cleaned regularly using standard cleaning products.

The hall has:

• Provided sanitiser for hirers to use at every entrance/exit.

• Post notices at every entrance/exit showing what is expected of users. Erected the “Catch It, Bin It, Kill It” poster and posters encouraging frequent handwashing.

• Advised the cleaner as to the extra cleaning required if someone is taken unwell on the premises with a suspected case of COVID-19.

• Hirers bringing or using their own equipment which is stored at the hall, will need to clean this for each session and before stowing it away, or ask their group members to bring their own clean equipment and avoid sharing it.

a) Each hiring group is required to clean surfaces that their group might use before their own users arrive, to clean regularly used surfaces such as tabletops and sinks during the hire and to clean them again before they leave.

b) Use of toilets: The toilets should not be made available to the public (which may conflict with safeguarding requirements and social distancing) or kept open when the hall is not in use.

1.4 Hiring Arrangements

a) As per the government’s request, the hall may give priority to essential services. If that is not feasible without compromising COVID-19 Secure guidelines the hall may have to remain closed for other hirers.

b) The booking secretary will allow longer between hires, to allow either the cleaner to clean before their arrival or hirers to arrive up to half an hour earlier in order to pre-clean for their own use.

c) The cleaner will need to be given expected arrival times for each hirer and no one will be permitted to enter before their agreed time.

d) Social distancing will need to be maintained and vulnerable people protected. It is therefore unlikely that the full range of normal use of the hall will be possible. The committee will decide which hirers can begin to use the hall pending Government ongoing guidance. This will demand a risk-based approach.

e) Hirers are encouraged to seat or stand people side-to-side, rather than face-to-face, whenever possible. Two empty seats (a distance of 2m if possible, or at least 1m with mitigation such as good ventilation) should be provided between each household group if seated. Where possible hirers are to encourage people to stay in their household groups to reduce transmission.

f) Hirers are encouraged to keep the hall well ventilated, opening doors and windows as far as possible, and will need to remember to close them all for security on leaving. Fresh air is preferable to mechanical ventilation.

g) Hirers are encouraged to have regard as to whether people attending their activity are clinically vulnerable to COVID-19 and how they will address the need to keep them safe. It is expected that those over 70, who are more vulnerable and have been required to self-isolate for 12 weeks, but not in the shielding category, will wish to attend their usual community activities, so particular attention should be paid to the need to maintain social distancing with them. This is reflected in the Special Hiring Conditions at Appendix E.

h) Hirers will be provided with a copy of the hall’s COVID-19 Risk Assessment.

i) You are encouraged to ask those attending to bring their own Food and Drink e.g. water bottles for the time being, rather than making food and drink on the premises, to reduce work cleaning the kitchen. Users should also be encouraged to bring their own equipment where possible, e.g. crafts, keep fit, and can be encouraged to bring their own personal hand sanitiser, wipes, and tissues.

j) Hirers are asked to keep a note of the names and telephone number for everyone attending their activity and retain this for 3 weeks so that, in the event of a case, NHS Test and Trace can contact everyone the individual was in contact with. This is not a legal requirement, people are not obliged to provide their personal details but where they do that information should be kept securely so as to comply with GDPR (e.g. a password protected phone or tablet, a locked filing cabinet) and then destroyed.

k) Government guidance asks venues to take steps to avoid people needing to unduly raise their voices to each other, e.g. playing music at loud volume so that normal conversation is difficult, so as to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus from aerosol and droplet transmission. 

1.5 Catering Arrangements

Common sense should be applied to achieve social distancing. For example, for short meetings people might be encouraged to bring their own water. For longer, small events, such as an art class, people might each use the kitchen to make their own refreshments and clean after themselves. Where refreshments are usually served from a hatch, such as WI or coffee mornings, a decision will need to be taken as to whether it is easier to manage social distancing through inviting people’s household group to the hatch.

1.6 Procedures if someone becomes unwell with COVID-19

a) A space should be designated into which anyone will be moved who becomes unwell at the hall with suspected COVID-19 symptoms until transport home or to hospital is available, we suggest the disabled toilet. Tissues and a bowl of warm soapy water for handwashing and paper towels should be provided. Tissues and paper towels should be disposed of into a plastic bag, which is sealed and placed in a secure place for 72 hours before being disposed of into the general rubbish collection. See Appendix B.

b) Other people that have attended the same activity should be asked for contact details and then to leave the premises. These details should be provided to NHS Test and Trace if requested. Provision of contact details is not compulsory.

c) A decontamination clean will be carried out in those parts of the premises they have used, in accordance with PHE guidance. 

Appendix A

Special Conditions of Hire during COVID-19

Note: These conditions are supplemental to, not a replacement for, the hall’s ordinary conditions of hire.

SC1: You, the hirer, will be responsible for ensuring those attending your activity or event comply with the COVID-19 Secure Guidelines while entering and occupying the hall, as shown on the attached poster which is also displayed at the hall entrance, in particular using the hand sanitiser supplied when entering the hall and after using tissues.

SC2: You undertake to comply with the actions identified in the hall’s risk assessment, of which you have been provided with a copy.

SC3: The hall will be cleaned before your arrive and you will be responsible for cleaning all regularly used surfaces during your period of hire (including tables, wash hand basins, door handles) using either the products supplied or your own ordinary domestic products. Please take care cleaning electrical equipment. Use cloths - do not spray!

SC4: You will make sure that everyone likely to attend your activity or event understands that they MUST NOT DO SO if they or anyone in their household has had COVID-19 symptoms in the last 7 days, and that if they develop symptoms within 7 days of visiting the premises they MUST use the Test, Track and Trace system to alert others with whom they have been in contact.

SC5: You will keep the premises well ventilated throughout your hire, with windows and doors open as far as convenient. You will be responsible for ensuring they are all securely closed on leaving.

SC6: You will ensure that no more than 30 people attend your activity/event, in order that social distancing can be maintained. You will ensure that everyone attending maintains 2m social distancing while waiting to enter the premises, observes the one-way system within the premises, and as far as possible observes social distancing of 1m plus mitigation measures when using more confined areas (e.g. moving and stowing equipment, accessing toilets) which should be kept as brief as possible. You will make sure that no more than two people use each suite of toilets at one time.

SC7: You will take particular care to ensure that social distancing is maintained for any persons aged 70 or over or likely to be clinically more vulnerable to COVID-19, including for example keeping a 2m distance around them when going in and out of rooms and ensuring they can access the toilets, kitchen or other confined areas without others being present. For some people, passing another person in a confined space is less risky, but for older people that should be avoided.

SC8: You will position furniture or the arrangement of the room as far as possible to facilitate social distancing of 2m between individual people or groups of up to two households or 1m with mitigation measures such as: seating side by side, with at least one empty chair between each person or household group, rather than face-to-face, and good ventilation. If tables are being used, you will place them so as to maintain social distancing across the table between people from different household groups who are face-to-face e.g. using a wide U-shape.

SC9: You are asked to keep a record of the name and contact telephone number or email of all those who attend your event for a period of 3 weeks after the event and provide the record to NHS Track and trace if required. (People are not obliged to provide details)

SC10: You will be responsible for the disposal of all rubbish created during your hire, including tissues and cleaning cloths, in the rubbish bags provided before you leave the hall

SC11: You will encourage users to bring their own drinks and food. You will bring your own clean tea towels, so as to reduce risk of contamination between hirers, and take them away. We will provide washing up liquid and washing up cloths.

SC12: We will have the right to close the hall if there are safety concerns relating to COVID-19, for example, if someone who has attended the hall develops symptoms and thorough cleansing is required or if it is reported that the Special Hiring Conditions above are not being complied with, whether by you or by other hirers, or in the event that public buildings are asked or required to close again. If this is necessary, we will do our best to inform you promptly and you will not be charged for this hire.

SC13: In the event of someone becoming unwell with suspected Covid-19 symptoms while at the hall you should remove them to the designated safe area which is the disabled toilet. Provide tissues and a bin or plastic bag, and a bowl of warm soapy water for handwashing. Ask others in your group to provide contact details if you do not have them and then leave the premises, observing the usual hand sanitising and social distancing precautions, and advise them to launder their clothes when they arrive home. Inform the hall booking secretary.

SC14: In order to avoid risk of aerosol or droplet transmission you must take steps to avoid people needing to unduly raise their voices to each other, e.g. refrain from playing music or broadcasts at a volume which makes normal conversation difficult.

SC15: Other special points as appropriate. E.g. Where a sport, exercise or performing arts activity takes place: You will organise your activity in accordance with guidance issued by the relevant governing body for your sport or activity E.g. Where a group uses their own equipment: You will ask those attending to bring their own equipment and not share it with other members. You will ensure that any equipment you provide is cleaned before use and before being stored in the hall’s cupboards.


Appendix B

COVID-19 treatment plan in the event of someone becoming unwell with suspected COVID-19 symptoms while at the hall you should:

a) Send them home immediately

b) Ask other members of your group to provide their contact details if you do not have them

c) Ask the rest of your group to leave the premises, observing the usual hand sanitising and social distancing precautions

d) Advise them to launder their clothes when they arrive home

e) Inform insert name and contact number

f) If the unwell person needs to wait for a lift: -

(1) Remove them to the safe waiting area, which is the disabled toilet – a chair and washing bowl should already be there

(2) Put on a mask, face shield, gloves & apron to protect yourself

(3) Provide them with tissues, a plastic rubbish bag, a bowl of warm water & soap for handwashing & paper towels

(4) Once they have been collected: - 1. Remove gloves, apron and face mask to the rubbish bag* 2. Leave face shield on top for disinfection 3. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with warm soapy water 4. Wait for insert responsible committee member to arrive. 5. Once home - launder all your clothes and wipe down disinfect your car *Note that the waste should be double bagged and kept for 72 hours before being collected.


Regular Hirers

Non-Regular Hirers