Managing property during coronavirus

Guidelines and advice for opening the Girlguiding building you manage and staying safe during the coronavirus outbreak

As lockdown restrictions lift and more spaces reopen, how should you prepare to open your Girlguiding property?

Update from 24 September 2020 

In England and Wales it's now a legal requirement that all physical meeting places must display a QR code for users of the venue (aged 16 and over) to scan using the NHS Covid-19 app.

Ask visitors to scan the QR code with their smart phone when they arrive. You may want to put this in your hire agreement and make sure that users are aware of this. You can print out as many posters as you need for your space, or you can get the code on a tablet or TV if you don’t have access to a printer. For more information and a step by step guide to creating your QR code visit the government website.

The management committee of any property owned or managed by Girlguiding will decide when they want to reopen their building.

As usual, the management committee has a legal responsibility under health & safety law to make sure the property is safe for users, so we recommend that you do not reopen before you have completed a Covid-19 risk assessment. There will be safety and compliance issues that you'll need to address.

To help you with this process you can use our checklist and risk assessment template. We've based this on government guidance and information from ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England), but it should apply to all locations and types of property.

Download the property checklist and risk assessment template (Word Doc)

You do not have to reopen immediately. So take the time to complete the risk assessment and feel confident you can safely open.

It's important that you go through the risk assessment template and adapt it to your property. You'll also need to adapt the checklist, using information from your risk assessment.

Remember:

  • You need to regularly update your risk assessment as requirements change.
  • The property management committee are responsible for the risk assessment. You do not need to have your risk assessment signed off by anyone else. 
  • You have a legal responsibility to protect employees and others from health and safety risks.

Different guidance might apply in your area, so check the official advice for your location before risk assessing your building.

Covid-19 Secure guidelines

These Covid-19 Secure guidelines are for buildings in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. They will help you understand the steps needed to safety run your property.

To be Covid-19 secure you must:

  • Minimise contact with people who are unwell - if someone has coronavirus symptoms or is self-isolating, they should not enter the property.
  • Clean your hands often - make sure that sanitiser or soap and water is available at entry and exit points. And that you have sanitiser or running water, soap and paper towels/hot air driers in toilets and kitchens.
  • Practice good respiratory hygiene - encourage everyone to avoid touching their mouth, eyes, and nose. Tissues need to thrown away in a bin, then hands cleaned. A “Catch it, bin it, kill it” poster is available (see useful resources section for download).
  • Regularly clean surfaces that are touched frequently - this includes door handles, handrails, tabletops, sinks, toilet areas, and kitchen surfaces. You can clean with ordinary domestic products.
  • Maintain social distancing where possible - at the moment this means there should be at least 2 metres between individual people and between groups of up to 2 households. Where this is not possible people can keep 1 metre apart if protective measures, like face coverings, are used. You can accept bookings for events that can maintain social distancing, and where contact under 2 metres is minimised. Certain types of events cannot yet be held, for example, indoor performances, including drama, comedy and music that takes place in front of a live audience.

You can display self-certification in your building to show how you are following Covid-19 Secure guidelines. This can help users and hirers feel confident about being in your space.

Working with anyone who hires your property is key to understanding the expectations and responsibilities in making sure the space is safe to use. Both sides will need to take steps to keep people safe.

Further guidance

For property in England:

For property in Scotland:

For property in Wales