COVID-19 Community Buildings

New local restrictions have been introduced across the North East from Friday 18th September to help address the significant rise in Coronavirus in our region in the recent weeks. Full details can be found on the Durham County Council website here (updated 14th October)

On 30th September the Government released some new guidance on local restrictions here (updated 12th October)

We are constantly reviewing our guidance in the light of local and national announcements; as we learn more or should the situation change, we will update our information pages. 

This page contains information specifically for community buildings. 

As we are learning to live with Covid-19, those running community buildings are continuing to face a range of challenges as they try to continue supporting people whilst keeping them safe.

The latest local restrictions have generated a great deal of confusion as people try to interpret the guidance for their own circumstances.

As County Durham is now ranked in Tier 2 of the governments new scheme for reducing the spread of the virus, the official guidance from Durham County Council states that, residents must not socialise with other people outside of their own households in all public venues unless they are part of a support bubble.

Although the guidance does not state that community buildings should close, it does state that each venue must be COVID secure, have completed a robust risk assessment, and implemented a range of safety measures to help minimise the risk of the virus spreading.

We understand that every building has different circumstances and issues to deal with and we are here to offer tailored information, advice and support to help you through the decision making process.

DCA Support for Community Buildings

Living and Working with COVID-19 - A Guide for Community Buildings (updated 15/10/20)

Read our blog on Understanding the New Government Guidance for Community Buildings (updated 23/09/2020)

Energy Efficiency Top Tips for Community Buildings

Our Work with ACRE 

We have also been working alongside our umbrella body ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England) as part of a national steering group to produce guidance for the reopening of community buildings post COVID-19 closure. The latest versions of these guides can be downloaded below.

Update from ACRE 30/09/20: We have issued another update to the information sheet (version 7) to reflect further changes to the government's regulations including track and trace, osters about face coverings and reduced attendance at weddings and funerals. 

Information Sheet - Re-opening Village and Community Halls post COVID-19 closure updated 30/09/20

Sample COVID-19 Risk Assessment for re-opening Village and Community Halls updated 18/09/20

Sample Risk Assessment for Hirers updated 18/09/20

Government Guidance

The Government have produced COVID-19 guidance for the safe use of multi-purpose community facilities which can be accessed  here (updated 13/10/20)

This guidance has been produced to support organisations to consider their legal responsibilities under Health and Safety Law and the Health Protection legislation.  It outlines the current thinking on managing the safe reopening of community buildings for specific activities.

Face Coverings 

As of 8 August, face coverings are now required by law to be worn in a greater number of public indoor settings including community buildings. On entering a community building users will be required to wear a face covering and will be required to keep it on unless covered under a 'reasonable excuse.' This could be for a gym class, if users need to eat or drink something or if they have a health or disability reason not to wear one. Face coverings can be removed if users are undertaking exercises or an activity where it would negatively impact their ability to do so. See further guidance on face coverings here (updated 24/09/20)

Create a coronavirus NHS QR code for your venue

From 24th September the Regulations for the Collection of Contact Details require every hirer or organisation using a community building to comply with the obligations to register for an NHS QR code, display the official NHS QR poster and keep records for Test and Trace, and every community building to ensure hirers comply. 

It is really easy to get a code, just follow this link and enter your email and full address of your community building. 

Public Health Outbreak Reporting Cards

Public Health have produced a range of downloadable cards for reporting an outbreak. The Small and Large Gatherings Workplace Action Cards include resources for arts, heritage and cultural venues, business event venues, children's community activities including holiday and after school clubs, cinemas, theatres, comedy venues and music venues, community activities and other hobby clubs, grassroots sports, gyms/leisure facilities and libraries. Download the cards here

Contact Us

If you would like to discuss your organisation's circumstances with us, or would like to talk through any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.

If you have been working directly with one of our Community Support Team you can contact them in the usual ways or email and your enquiry will be directed to a member of the team.