NAVCA has met with representatives from DCMS about the latest ‘Plan B’ guidance, and here is a summary:
The ‘work from home if you can’ guidance
This also covers volunteering activity, so it’s ‘volunteer from home if you can’ as well. Activities such as administration, making or answering phone calls and updating websites should be done from home whenever possible. However, you can continue to have volunteers on your premises for these activities if the activities need to be done as part of a face-to-face team, using equipment or resources. If volunteers are continuing to go into a workplace, they should consider taking a lateral flow test regularly to manage their own risk and the risks to others. This comes into effect from Monday 13 December (next Monday).
The extension of settings in which face coverings must be worn
From Friday 10 December (today) face coverings will become compulsory in most public indoor venues, such as cinemas, theatres and places of worship. There will be exemptions in venues where it is not practical to wear one, such as when you are eating, drinking or exercising. For that reason, face masks will not be required in hospitality settings.
The introduction of Covid status certification
From Wednesday 15 December, the NHS Covid Pass will also be required for visitors to nightclubs, indoor unseated venues with more than 500 people, unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people and any event with more than 10,000 people. Volunteers operating in these conditions will also be required to have the NHS Covid Pass.
The NHS Covid Pass can be obtained through being fully vaccinated (currently this means people who have had the two doses of the vaccine but does not require them to have also had the booster jab) OR having a negative lateral flow test (LFT). People who are not fully vaccinated will be able to show proof of a recent negative Covid test instead: if you’ve had a negative PCR or LFT result, and reported it on the NHS website, then the pass lasts 48 hours after the result. Find out more about the NHS Covid Pass.
NAVCA will be sending out more information on the requirements for people volunteering in a setting which comes under the CQC regime – hospitals, care homes, etc – as it becomes clear.
Government guidance is published on these pages (please note that they are in the process of being updated to reflect the latest changes):