This article was last updated on 2/3/21 with updated resources in the ‘further support’ section.
The government has published the ‘Covid-19 Response – Spring 2021’ setting out the roadmap out of the current lockdown for England. This explains how the restrictions will be lifted over time. A shorter summary is also contained at the start of this updated ‘National Lockdown’ guidance which looks at the initial step.
The roadmap contains 4 steps to the easing of lockdown and the government has said this will be dependent on the data, not just dates, and will be cautious in its approach. Therefore before each anticipated date, organisations should continue to check gov.uk for updates, as these may change.
Age UK has published a useful summary of the roadmap.
How can charities start to plan?
Each charity will need to consider its own area of operation and the type of services it operates, then consider the relevant government guidance for working safely in that area (linked below).
It is anticipated that from 8 March individuals will be able to meet one other person from outside their household for recreation outside, as well as the currently permitted outdoor exercise. From 29 March it is anticipated that the rule of six will resume outdoors and outdoor sports facilities will re-open. Social distancing will still be required.
Charities may want to consider whether services going forward may include a blended approach of online activities and some in-person sessions in line with the easing of restrictions. For example, socially distanced walking sessions or socially distanced befriending outdoors.
If your charity is planning to resume additional services as the restrictions ease, please plan ahead by risk assessing those services. We have collected some useful resources for you below. Remember that some individuals may continue to be more vulnerable than others and there is still the legal duty to self isolate.
Until then we are still in national lockdown. Charities and community groups can however continue to operate their services in-person during lockdown where such activities cannot reasonably be done from home. See our previous article here for more information on how to do this safely.
Further resources and support
- Government guidance: working safely during Coronavirus
- NCVO: Planning for the easing of lockdown. This includes useful questions to help you prepare (updated 2/3/21)
- NCVO Coronavirus guidance: Managing Covid risk
- HSE guidance on risk assessing
- Community testing is open to front line staff and volunteers in the voluntary sector
- Contact Herjeet by emailing email@example.com if you would like assistance or advice on planning ahead.