Coronavirus guidance

Our recommendations regarding coronavirus and resources to support you during this time. We will continue to monitor government advice on the subject and will review and update this page accordingly. Please do check back regularly.

04 Nov 2020

During this time, our priority is to ensure the safety of our network and our wider society. We must take appropriate steps to look after those most vulnerable to COVID-19 – in particular older people and those with underlying health conditions.

Pausing in-person events and activities

Groups should follow official government coronavirus guidelines at all times. Across each nation – England, Wales and Northern Ireland – laws vary as to what meetings and gatherings can happen. We’ve outlined the latest rules below, but please be aware that they are continuously being revised and you should refer to the relevant governmental website and specialised regional restrictions before planning any activity.

For most groups, current restrictions will mean refraining from all in-person activity. In this case, we encourage you to carry on group meetings and any other activity online.

Where restrictions allow for in-person activities:

  • We strongly encourage you to continue holding your group meetings online, to ensure the safety of more vulnerable members of your group who may not be willing or able to participate in person.
  • We suggest you only undertake in-person activities that are outdoors and don’t involve people gathering (eg. putting up posters) and take extra precautionary measures such as wearing a face mask if possible at all times.
  • You will need to complete a COVID-19 risk assessment for all in-person activity. Please send it to your group’s relevant regional staff member to ensure your group is covered by our insurance.

As of 5 November the rules for outdoor activity by nation are as follows:

  • In England, a lockdown will require people to stay at home. They must not visit other households or meet other people they do not live with. Read the guidelines on the new restrictions.
  • In Northern Ireland up to 15 people can meet in outdoors public spaces while maintaining social distancing. Check the latest guidance in Northern Ireland .
  • In Wales a "firebreak lockdown" will remain in place until Monday 9 November. People must stay at home and must not visit other households or meet other people they do not live with. Find out more about these restrictions. After this period a set of national rules will be in place, allowing travel within Wales and some organised activities, but remaining cautious and minimising contact.

If you feel the rules are unclear in relation to your activity, get in touch with us for support and advice.

Lobbying activity

The coronavirus pandemic is requiring an unprecedented response from our NHS, essential services and government at all levels.

At the moment, the UK government and local governments –both elected officials and staff – are prioritising dealing with the immediate public health crisis. And we should allow them space to respond to the pandemic and support our communities.

Therefore at this time, we suggest that you campaign on issues that are urgent or that are of particular importance at this time.

For example, you may want to respond to emerging council plans that are concerning for the climate. Or you may campaign on timely issues such as demanding a green and fair recovery plan. In all your campaigning, please keep in mind the strain many services are currently under. And make sure to communicate sensitively to decision makers and your own community.

How to talk about the crisis

We’re living in unprecedented times. While we want to continue as much as possible to campaign on climate, we must be sensitive in how we do that – and how we communicate it.

It’s been noted how in some places measures put in place to limit the spread of the virus have resulted in a reduction in emissions, increased air quality, and in some cases, the ability of nature to return to spaces.

However, it’s incredibly important that we do not celebrate these as so-called "benefits" of the pandemic.

Read our coronavirus messaging guide.

Digital campaigning resources

Coronavirus will change how we campaign. We’re working to provide you with the tools, resources and support you need so that you can continue to hold meetings and plan campaigning work if you feel able to do so.

To start, we’ve gathered a list of some free tools to help you make the shift to campaigning online.

Read our guide to free digital campaigning tools.

Solidarity

Now is an opportunity to show solidarity with other people and groups in our communities.

Read our guide on supporting your community during the pandemic.

Mental health

We know it’s a scary and challenging time. It’s important than you take precautions to look after yourselves and each other.

For mental health support, reach out to your GP, or contact Samaritans on 116 123.

Extra support

If you are worried about losing money from venues that you’d previously booked please get in touch to see if we can support you with this.

And if you have any questions or a suggestion on how we can support you, please email climateaction@foe.co.uk

Climate Action