Welsh Government guidance for reopening community centres

The Revd Gethin Rhys, Policy Officer of Cytûn/Churches Together in Wales, has circulated the following update on the latest Welsh Government guidance.

The Welsh Government has published its Guidance on the reopening and safe use of multi-purpose community centres, including the community use of places of worship.  The principles are very similar to those in the guidance on re-opening places of worship, so those familiar with the latter will be well prepared for this new guidance. The community centres guidance includes a step-by-step guide to making decisions regarding reopening

I would note two matters in particular:

1. The community centres guidance states:

“Regulation 12 of the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No 2) (Wales) Regulations 2020 [as amended] places a duty on those responsible for the centre to collect contact information from each person at the premises or, in relation to persons from the same household, from one of them, and retaining it for 21 days for the purpose of providing it to the Welsh Ministers or to a public health officer upon either’s request. Further information about Test, Trace, Protect is available, along with guidance on keeping records of staff, customers and visitors, and practical guidance for community centres reopening.”

This is a surprising interpretation of the Regulations (which say that such steps may be taken, rather than that they must be taken), but in the light of the wording in this guidance, places of worship are advised to collect contact details for attenders at community activities, ensuring that the information is kept and destroyed in line with data protection regulations (GDPR).

2. The community centres guidance does not change the lists of activities permitted within a community centre, but it does note that the list of permitted activities may change from time to time or in specific geographical areas and that it is the duty of those responsible for the centre to ensure that they know what is permitted or not. A full list of the activities currently – August 27 – permitted across Wales can be found on Cytûn’s website, here.

Gethin Rhys

Cite this article as: Gethin Rhys, “Welsh Government guidance for reopening community centres” in Law & Religion UK, 27 August 2020, https://www.lawandreligionuk.com/2020/08/27/welsh-government-guidance-for-reopening-community-centres/.

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