Now that we are out of lockdown and the government has lifted all Covid-19 restrictions all groups can resume meetings.
Plymouth u3a continues to follow the government and NHS advice on Covid-19, and guidance from u3a.
For those who are at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) because of an underlying health condition, we strongly suggest you read the Public Health England document for Guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable from COVID-19.
The latest Government Guidance
Coronavirus: how to stay safe and help prevent the spread.
England has moved to step 4
Although most legal restrictions have been lifted at Step 4 and many people have been vaccinated, it is still possible to catch and spread COVID-19, even if you are fully vaccinated. COVID-19 will be a feature of our lives for the foreseeable future, so we need to learn to live with it and manage the risk to ourselves and others.
As COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, it is important that we all use personal judgment to manage our own risk. All of us can play our part by exercising common sense and considering the risks. No situation is risk free, so we all need to understand the factors and settings that increase the risk of COVID-19 transmission and the actions that we can all take to reduce COVID-19 infection, both for ourselves and for others.
Following this guidance will help you to understand situations where there is a greater risk of catching or spreading COVID-19 and the steps that you can take to stay safe and protect others. Every action to help reduce the spread will reduce any further resurgence of the virus in the coming months.
What has changed
Most legal restrictions to control COVID-19 have been lifted at Step 4. This means that:
You do not need to stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with. There are also no limits on the number of people you can meet. However, you should limit the close contact you have with those you do not usually live with, and increase close contact gradually. This includes minimising the number, proximity and duration of social contacts. You should meet outdoors where possible and let fresh air into homes or other enclosed spaces.
The government is no longer instructing people to work from home if they can. However, the government expects and recommends a gradual return over the summer
The requirement to wear face coverings in law has been lifted. However, the government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport.
There are no longer limits on the number of people who can attend weddings, civil partnerships, funerals and other life events (including receptions and celebrations). There is no requirement for table service at live events, or restrictions on singing or dancing.
There are no longer restrictions on group sizes for attending communal worship.
What you should do
COVID-19 has not gone away, so it’s important to remember the actions you can take to keep yourself and others safe. While cases are high, everybody needs to continue to act carefully and remain cautious.
This is why it’s important to:
- get a test if you develop COVID-19 symptoms, even if your symptoms are mild;
- isolate if you test positive for COVID-19 or when told to do so by NHS Test and Trace;
- meet others outside or let fresh air in;
- minimise the number, proximity and duration of social contacts;
- quarantine when returning from red list countries and for those people not fully vaccinated arriving from amber list countries.
In addition, the government expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport.
Latest u3a Covid-19 Advice and Guidance
The rules vary depending on whether you live in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland. To find out what this means for u3as in each nation, please read the full advice on the u3a National Website at Running your u3a: Covid and beyond.
From August: All legal limits to social contact are removed. Interest groups of any size free to meet both Indoors and Outdoors.
There has been some discussion amongst members about the impact of a vaccination on members attending activities in a u3a.
On this matter, the policy guidance for the movement from the Trust will follow UK-wide government advice as well as the expert public health guidance of each of the nation’s governments (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and the Crown dependencies).
Please see our Keeping Active page.
If groups do not wish to meet in person, group leaders are encouraged to use video conferencing as a way of mainntaining contact and retaining interest amoung their group members. See either u3a – Video Conferencing FAQs or Plymouth u3a – Help with Zoom.