Covid-19 Guidance for Hirers

We are sure you will appreciate that in order to keep users of Norton Friend’s Meeting House safe, we have to insist on new guidelines for behaviour. You will also recognise that we must more than ever rely on compliance by each group of users.

We have marked out a route for people to enter the building by the front door and leave by the rear fire exit door except in the event of physical difficulties or a fire. You may need to stagger arrival times or insist on a socially-distanced queue to avoid bunching.

Everyone attending the group is required to wear a face covering and maintain a 2 metre social distance.

Everyone should apply hand gel on entering and on leaving the building. It is also recommended that you use it before entering the toilets

There should be good ventilation at all times. Please leave doors (including toilet doors) open for as long as possible. The fire door (now the designated exit) can be opened to allow more air into the Meeting Room.

There is a window in the Meeting room which can be opened but this requires climbing on steps and you must remember to close it on leaving. You may find it easier just to open the fire door.

Please note, THE KITCHEN IS CLOSED. No cups or other utensils should be used under any circumstances.

People must provide their own refreshments and take the residue / rubbish home with them. The new bins are intended only for paper towels and blue roll.

No papers or other materials should be touched by more than one person.

We have provided hand cleansing points, paper towels and bins for their disposal. They are NOT to be flushed down the toilet as this would cause a blockage.

We require the group leader to arrive early, open all the doors and clean door handles, light switches and other points people are likely to touch (taking care not to spray surface cleaner directly onto any light switch.) Group members should queue outside, following rules for social distancing. The door will be open but the small table holding hand gel can be pushed across it until cleaning is complete and people can start coming in.

Frequently touched surfaces should be cleaned again before you leave.

You must keep the contact details of all attenders for three weeks before destruction. Anyone showing symptoms must be denied access. If anyone subsequently displays symptoms they must tell you so that you can inform us as a matter of urgency as we will probably have to close the premises for thorough cleaning.

You must also assist the test and trace system and follow their instructions. For this purpose we have followed government rules and placed an A4 poster in the foyer with a QR code. Should you wish to use the app for test and trace (for example from your smartphone) then place that smartphone in front of the QR code and capture it. This is optional, and paper based systems are an acceptable alternative.

These restrictions result in a significant reduction in capacity to about 25% of normal. So the Meeting Room is suitable for about 12 people and the Community Room for about 6. In both rooms the distance of 2 metres is only valid with the seats against the wall. We appreciate that this means you may have to create a rota for attendance or use a larger room than usual and are aware that we are asking you to take on a bit more responsibility.

In addition we have now installed Wifi – coordinates are on the notice board. On Sunday 13th September 2020 we held our first meeting for several months, and used Zoom, making it a hybrid meeting. There were several in the room itself and then with a laptop at the end of the room, managed by one of our members, we received guests and contributions over the ether as well. You are welcome to use this facility but will need your own hardware. This may well help when the physical limit in the room is 12.

And another ‘lockdown inspired’ innovation is that we now have a website. Please use this to keep up-to-date with events and for booking and registration. It is in its early stages so please be generous if we fumble occasionally, but there are telephone numbers plastered in different places in it for you to get help.

Keeping the premises tidy is essential if we are to maintain high standards of cleanliness. Please take extra care in completing all the usual ‘ Last person out’ checks, remembering as well to make sure that the fire door and any windows you have opened are securely shut.

We have increased the frequency of cleaning in the Meeting House but there is no caretaker to check that everything is in order.

If we are to succeed in staying open safely it is essential that we all leave the building every time as we would wish to find it.

We have done a risk assessment of the premises that we can show hirers and please note that hirers will also be expected to produce a risk assessment for their group which we would need to see. Thank you in advance.

For those who would like to use the HSE template, the link to their website is