08 Feb 2021
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 8 February the rules for outdoor activity by nation are as follows:
England is in lockdown and people are required to stay at home. You should not meet other people you do not live with, or have formed a support bubble with. More guidance on what is and isn't permitted.
In Northern Ireland, outdoor gatherings can only include six people from two households. More information on the latest restrictions.
All of Wales is at alert level 4, which means people should stay at home and must not meet other people they do not live with. Find out more about the new restrictions.
If you feel the rules are unclear in relation to your activity, get in touch with us for support and advice.
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.
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.
Now is an opportunity to show solidarity with other people and groups in our communities.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org