COVID-19 : Special conditions of hire
Updated 19 July 2021
To be read and retained by the Hirer
In order that the village hall can be used safely by everybody, these Special Conditions will apply until further notice. They are supplemental to, not a replacement for, the hall’s standard Conditions of Hire.
From 19 July 2021, when most legal restrictions were lifted, the Victoria Rooms will operate in line with guidance from the Government and from Action for Rural Communities in England (ACRE). We had hoped to dispense with these Special Conditions, but the latest advice currently urges caution. In the interest of bringing the village hall back into use and enabling local clubs and societies to function, however, the Committee will allow hirers a degree of flexibility in tailoring some preventative measures to suit their particular circumstances (please see the note below). It is important to remember, however, that hirers do have a duty of care to those who participate in or may be affected by their activities or events. As operators of a public venue, the Committee also owes a duty of care to users of the village hall. We believe that, in the current circumstances, other preventative measures must remain mandatory for the time being. We will ease or dispense with these restrictions as soon as we can.
The Management Committee’s policy is summarised in its COVID-19 Secure Notice which is published on our website pages and displayed throughout the hall. A copy is also available on request.
Until further notice, hirers are required to comply with the following Special Conditions:
1. To assess the risk of COVID-19 transmission at their activity or event, taking into account
- the Management Committee’s COVID-19 risk assessment updated 19 July 2021 (available on request)
- the nature of the activity or event and any inherent risk factors (eg strenuous exercise, singing, dancing, preparing and serving food or drink)
- the number and (if known) vulnerabilities of those people expected to attend
- any other relevant factors, including the regional infection rate and the number of known hospitalisations and deaths from COVID-19
and to provide the Bookings Secretary with a copy of that assessment, to include an explanation of how the hall is to be used safely during the hire period. The Bookings Secretary or the Committee may require further or stronger preventative measures to be taken before entering into the hire agreement.
2. To agree with the Bookings Secretary the maximum number of persons to be permitted in the building at any one time and to explain how the activity or event is to be managed to ensure that that number is not exceeded. The maximum will be fixed in the light of the risk factors identified by the hirer’s risk assessment and the preventative measures to be taken.
3. To ensure that anyone attending the activity or event does NOT enter the hall if they, or anyone in their household, has tested positive for COVID-19 or has had any symptoms during the previous 10 days, or if they are currently feeling unwell.
4. To ensure that those attending the activity or event sanitise their hands on entry.
5. To require all those who attend the activity or event to register their attendance with NHS Test and Trace, using the QR code on display at the entrance, or to keep a written register of those attending, to include a contact telephone number, for a period of not less than 21 days.
6. To keep the hall, including all rooms in use and the toilets, well ventilated throughout the period of hire.
7. To require all those who attend the activity or event to notify the organiser and the Chairman of the Management Committee on 01823 400609 if they develop COVID-19 symptoms within 7 days of visiting the hall.
Any member of the Management Committee is entitled at any time to enter the building to ensure that these Special Conditions of Hire are being observed and may require the activity or event to cease and the building to be vacated in the event of non-compliance. In that event, the hire charge will not be refunded.
The Management Committee may close the premises where there are safety concerns relating to COVID-19, for example, if someone who has attended the hall develops symptoms and a deep clean proves necessary. It should also be borne in mind that community buildings may be required to close again. The Committee will make every effort to give hirers adequate notice of any closure and will refund any hire charges paid in respect of cancelled bookings.
In deciding what other preventative measures should be taken, hirers are asked to consider:
(a) The extent to which they need to manage social distancing (eg a one-way system and/or stewards at a larger function, arranging furniture or equipment to minimise face to face contact or create additional space, managing entry to and exit from the building, managing the use of confined spaces such as the entrance lobby, toilets, corridors and storerooms). Guidance on social distancing remains at 2 metres or 1 metre if accompanied by other preventative measures.
(b) Whether and in what circumstances people attending should wear face coverings. At a larger function it may be appropriate to ask people to wear a face covering unless they are seated. For a smaller event, plenty of space and good ventilation may mean that face coverings need not be worn. Face coverings should always be worn by those preparing or serving food or drink.
(c) The extent to which they need to sanitise surfaces and equipment before and after use. Tabletops, the tops of chair frames, door handles and other surfaces that are regularly touched should always be wiped over, although where there has been an interval of more than 72 hours since the last hiring, sanitising before use is less critical. Please do not spray liquid on to light switches or other electrical installations. Materials for sanitising are available in the Main Hall (on the stage).
Milverton Victoria Rooms Management Committee
August 2020, updated 19 July 2021