Before these crazy times, a number of our churches rented out available space to other groups for things like dance classes, choirs and music lessons. With the restrictions put in place in March, most (if not all) of these groups had to close and therefore cancel their bookings. But now with the easing of restrictions, churches are now getting enquiries from these groups wanting to restart their programmes.
So, what should be done?
- For a church to be able to open and lease out their space again, the church needs to complete a COVID-Safe Plan.
- For any group that was previously restricted and now wants to start classes again in the church, they need to complete a COVID-Safe Plan. (NOTE: dance schools are in this category and need to limit the classes to 10 per room.) The local church should cite the COVID-Safe Plan Certificate before the facilities can be used.
- For any group that voluntarily closed and now wants to start classes again in the church, they are encouraged to complete a COVID-Safe Plan. It is up to the local church to determine, but we would suggest this be a requirement.
The renting group needs to manage:
- Records of attendance (there is a form available on the COVID-19 website).
- Number of people per room as per SA Government guidelines.
- Hygiene requirements of staff and attendees.
The church needs to manage:
- Closing of communal areas, like changing rooms.
- Record of attendance for church only activities (services, youth groups, small groups, etc. There is a form available on the COVID-19 website)
There needs to be agreement between the church and the renting group around:
- Who is responsible for the cleaning of facilities before and after usage.
- Communication between each other in case of a COVID-19 notification.
The above information was collated after discussion with a representative from the SA COVID-19 Information Line on 3/06/2020.