Many of you will know that from Monday 17th May, some Covid 19 restrictions are being lifted in England. In particular, the limit on numbers in a support group has been raised from 15 to 30 people. Centre management have decided that as from Monday 17th May, there will no longer be a limit of 15 people only for support groups that meet in the Palace Gate Centre.
However, 2 m social distancing remains in place and to reduce the transmission of coronavirus, the UK government is still instructing us to remain 2 m apart from anyone who is not in our household or support bubble. So we continue to ask your groups to maintain social distancing and we have to continue to have smaller numbers of people in our rooms.
Under Covid 19 measures, the capacities for our rooms are as follow:
South Street Church 35
Lower Hall 25
Upper Hall 20
Lower Lounge 12
Upper Lounge 12
Any groups that meet in these rooms will not be permitted to exceed these limits. If your group is larger than the Covid 19 capacity, then if possible we will offer you a second room in the Centre at no extra charge. This will be subject to a room being available. You can also use the Centre wi-fi for free to enable people to join your meeting online. Ask the receptionist for the guest code.
Please note that we have decided not yet to reopen our kitchens so those coming to groups will still need to bring their own drinks.
To help protect yourself, Centre staff and other users, you should continue to follow all of the guidance given here even if you’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19. The vaccines have been shown to reduce the likelihood of severe illness in most people. Like all medicines, no vaccine is completely effective, so those who have received the vaccine should continue to take recommended precautions to avoid infection.
We do not know by how much the vaccine stops COVID-19 from spreading. Even if you have been vaccinated, you could still spread COVID-19 to others.
Please also remember that some users and Centre staff have not yet been vaccinated; always following COVID-19 measures ensure that we protect them and the wider community.
We recommend that you follow UK government advice and take a lateral flow test every 3 or 4 days. Around 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 do not have symptoms so these tests help to see if we are carrying the coronavirus. Lateral flow tests are freely available from test sites, some pharmacies, by calling 119 or by visiting: https://www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests
Centre staff are regularly taking these tests and we urge your group members to consider taking them too.
Lateral flow tests are only for those who do not have the symptoms of COVID-19. If you do have the symptoms of coronavirus, then you must self-isolate and contact the NHS to arrange a PCR test. To do this telephone 119 or visit https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test
Here is a summary of our other COVID-19 measures:
- never come to the Centre if you have symptoms of Covid 19. Visit: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/ to check what they are.
- if anyone develops COVID-19 symptoms whilst at the Centre, they must report this to our reception, leave straight away and contact the NHS.
- sanitise your hands on entry and exit
- maintain 2 m social distancing at all times
- wear a face covering on entry to the Centre and throughout meetings (unless exempt)
- do not exceed room capacities
- do not congregate in the reception area or in corridors
- follow the one way systems or other instructions
- keep rooms well ventilated
You can read our COVID-19 risk assessment and more detail about the measures we are taking to keep us all safe at https://palacegatecentre.co.uk/about/covid-19/
If you have any questions or concerns please ring Heather, our Centre Manager, on 01392 279485 or reply to this email. Please be patient if we cannot deal with your enquiry immediately. Some Centre staff are still on furlough or part furlough or having to do other duties at present.
We have been pleased that we have been able to stay open for groups that can meet at present and do hope that others will soon be able to meet again. Thank you for all the messages of support and gratitude that you have offered us, and for co-operating with these stringent measures in this extended period of disruption.
Let’s continue to take care of each other, show each other kindness and understanding, and work together towards a better and more hope-filled future.