u3a - Covid-19 Advice for Interest Groups in Wales - U3A-KMS-DOC-075

1. Document Control

2. Introduction

2.1. Purpose

The Third Age Trust has put together its guidance on coronavirus as related to the movement. We continue to follow the government and NHS advice and will keep you updated with regular mailings when the advice changes.

2.2. Scope

Relevant to all u3as in Wales

2.3. Related documentation

3. Coronavirus Control Plan: Alert levels in Wales. Coming out of Lockdown and FAQs
 

https://gov.wales/sites/default/files/publications/2021-02/coronavirus-control-plan-alert-levels-in-wales-coming-out-of-lockdown.pdf

Wales is currently in Alert Level 4 since December 2020 and the government is proposing a cautious approach to coming out of lockdown (particularly with the emergence of recent new variants). There is a strong desire not to risk the gains that have been made both through everyone’s cooperation during the lockdown and the success of the vaccine progress to date. The aim is to have delivered the planned vaccine roll out to the next five priority groups by the end of April. This is seen as the next main milestone against which to appraise proposals for further relaxations of restrictions.

The Welsh Governments’ priority will be to get the young back into education, they will be reviewing the impact of each step taken every three weeks and will be working back towards resuming the Level 3 alert level when things look safe enough for this.

3.1 What you must do at present in Wales in Alert Level 4 until further notice:

  • Stay at home.
  • Meet only the people you live with or your support bubble indoors, in private gardens or outdoors.
  • Outdoor exercise only with people from your household or support bubble
  • Work from home
  • Do not travel without reasonable excuses.
  • Avoid cross border travel without reasonable excuses.
  • Follow social distancing rules with people you do not live with or who are not in your support bubble.
  • Wear a face covering, if you are able to, in all indoor public places.

https://gov.wales/alert-level-4-summary

WALES

How many people outdoors

Meeting indoors

Travel

Premitted Activities

Regulations in place from 27th March unless otherwise stated. Six people from two households can meet outside in a private garden. Indoors people must still remail within their own household or extended household. 'Stay at home' requirement becomes 'Stay Local' in Wales. No limits on travel within Wales. Some outdoor sporting venues may open but must maintain the social distancing restrictions on numbers who can meet indoors.

 

3.2 What is the procedure I must follow in order to resume my interest group activities face to face?

It is imperative that we follow the government guidance as we move through the steps of lockdown easing. Their aim is to be guided by the evidence at each step of the road map and we must follow their lead and recommendations at all times, remaining vigilant and flexible to their latest guidance whilst planning for the return journey for the members in our various interest groups.

To summarise the u3a procedure for resuming an activity or interest group is as follows:-

  • Inform your committee of your plans and preparations for resuming
  • Where appropriate download and follow a relevant Risk Assessment from a National Governing Body for your sporting activity (see links below) or use an appropriate u3a risk assessment template for your activity.
  • Inform your members of what to expect and how to prepare for returning
  • Ask members to complete a personal assessment (pre-attendance) before attending.
  • Please ensure you are following the most current government guidance on social distancing, and maintaining Covid-secure requirements at all times. For instance you may be required to continue to keep a register of participants for 21 days after the activity for Track and Trace beyond the roadmap.

3.3 What do we do if a member is not having the vaccine for health or personal reasons?

At present, there is no mandate from the Government that people must have the vaccine therefore the Trust will not be issuing any requirements that members must have the vaccine or that they can’t take part in activities without having had their vaccines.

3.4 When can we restart our walking groups

The Welsh government roadmap for lifting lockdown means people in Wales can walk outside in groups of six from two households from 27th March.

3.5 When will there be more guidance around return to play for different sporting activities

We are still waiting for the overarching guidance from the Cabinet Office and the sport specific guidance that is likely to be released ahead of 29th March

3.6 Where can I get information about return to play from National Governing Bodies of sports organisations

This link will take you to a list of some of these bodies in Wales https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sports_governing_bodies_in_Wales

3.7 When can we resume playing golf?

Wales golf is looking forward to seeing golfers back on the fairways on Saturday 13th March with a maximum of 4 players from two households. The Welsh Government is lifting the ‘Stay at Home’ guidance to ‘Stay Local’ on the 13th March. Currently, club facilities must remain closed but toilet and washroom facilities may open. https://www.Walesgoldf.org?covid-19/

3.8 When can u3a interest groups resume face to face meetings indoors?

At present, it looks like small groups following the ‘rule of 6’ could begin to start meeting from the 17th May in covid-secure premises, following social distancing in-line with venue capacity limitations.

4. Gradual progression to Alert Level 3 – no dates given at present

How quickly Wales moves through the steps cannot be given in specific dates as it requires continual reassessment and reevaluations of the impact of previous relaxation measures. We must be guided by the Welsh Government on this. At alert level 3 you must:

  • Follow social distancing rules with people you don’t live with or who are not in your exclusive extended household.
  • Wear a face covering (if you are able to) in all indoor public places.
  • Only form an extended household with no more than 1 other household and they should stay the same.
  • Not meet with anyone in a private home other than those you live with or your extended household.
  • Meet no more than 3 other people indoors in a cafe, restaurant or other open premises.
  • Meet only your extended household in private gardens.
  • Meet no more than 3 other people outdoors (unless with an extended household of a larger number).
  • Work from home if you can.
  • Not travel to areas of high prevalence without reasonable excuse.
  • Avoid travel to areas of low prevalence and international travel.

However, at level 3 it is anticipated that leisure and fitness facilities can open, community centres and outdoor sports facilities and Golf Courses will reopen and for organised activities with social distancing measures up to 15 people will be able to meet indoors and up to 30 outdoors.