15th July 2020 – Latest guidance for U3As from Third Age Trust
When should you stay at home?
The government says you should not leave your home to take part in U3A activity if you are in a category which should stay at home or if you or anyone in your household has symptoms of Coronavirus.
The government advises that, if you or someone in your household or your support bubble (or other similar title e.g. Wales uses ‘extended family’) is showing coronavirus symptoms, everyone in your support bubble should stay at home. If you or a member of your support bubble is contacted as part of the test, track and trace programme, the individual contacted should stay at home. If that individual becomes symptomatic, everyone in the support bubble must then isolate. This is critical to staying safe and saving lives.
It is advisable that any U3A group activities that are taking place at this time should keep a log of those participating for track and trace purposes should the need arise, and it is the responsibility of the member/s concerned to share this information with the relevant NHS Track and Trace team should this event occur.
On 19 June, the UK CMOs changed the COVID-19 alert level in England from level four to level three following a recommendation by the Joint Biosecurity Centre. This means that the virus is considered to be in general circulation but transmission is no longer high or rising exponentially. As a result, the UK Government is continuing to ease restrictions in a manner that is safe, cautious and consistent with its plan.
However it is important to follow the general government guidance about keeping safe personally when outside your home – this can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/staying-safe-outside-your-home/staying-safe-outside-your-home
1.1 This meant that from 4 July
You can meet in groups of up to two households (anyone in your support bubble counts as one household) in any location – public or private, indoors or outdoors. You do not always have to meet with the same household – you can meet with different households at different times. However, it remains the case – even inside someone’s home – that you should socially distance from anyone not in your household or bubble.
This means it is unlikely that a U3A can operate indoors. When you are outside you can continue to meet in groups of up to six people from different households, following social distancing guidelines.
If you can, you should avoid using public transport, and aim to walk, cycle, or drive instead. It is not possible to social distance during car journeys and transmission of coronavirus can definitely occur in this context. So avoid travelling with someone from outside your household or, your support bubble unless you can practice social distancing. If you need to use public transport to complete your journey you should follow the guidelines in place, and must wear a face covering.
1.2 Travel Restrictions for England
There are no restrictions irrespective of distance on travel in England however if visiting other parts of the UK – Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland – you must adhere to the laws and guidance of the devolved administrations at all times. It is not possible to social distance during car journeys and transmission of COVID-19 can definitely occur during car journeys, so avoid travelling with someone from outside your household or support bubble – (see above).
1.3 Guidance for those who are over
70 years old or deemed clinically vulnerable as of 6th July 2020. You can meet people outdoors and, from 4 July, indoors, you should be especially careful and be diligent. You can meet people outdoors and, from 4 July, indoors, you should be especially careful and be diligent about social distancing and hand hygiene.
1.4 Guidance for those who are extremely clinically vulnerable
From 1 August advice for clinically extremely vulnerable people will move in line with advice to those who are clinically vulnerable. In practice, this means staying at home as much as possible, and if people do go out, taking particular care to minimise contact with others outside their household (unless you are in a support bubble) and robustly practising good, frequent hand washing. You should remain cautious as you are still at risk of severe illness if you catch coronavirus, so the advice is to stay at home where possible and, if you do go out, follow strict social distancing.
Government announcement today 14th July 2020
Face masks are to be made compulsory in shops and supermarkets in England from 24th July 2020, this time lapse gives people time to prepare for this change. Shops and supermarkets can refuse entry if a mask is not worn and call the police. These new rules will be enforced by the police and those who fail to comply will face a fine
of up to £100.
This ruling does not apply to retail staff.
24 June 2020: Latest Information on Covid-19
The government and NHS are making changes to its advice around Covid-19 from 4th July. The Advice is not changing until that date. More detailed guidance on this advice will be issued to the public in the coming days.
We wanted you to know that the Third Age Trust is following this advice closely and when that guidance is issued we will put out more detailed advice as it relates to U3A. This will become effective from 4th July.
Watch this space.
Posted 19 June 2020: Meeting Up Rules
02 June 2020 – Covid-19 guidance – latest advice from The Third Age Trust
The Third Age Trust has put together its guidance on coronavirus as relates to the movement. We continue to follow the government and NHS advice and will keep you updated with regular mailings when the advice changes.
Advice in England – from Monday 1 June 2020
As from Monday 1 June 2020 Government guidance for England about Covid19 will be changing. The whole advice can be found at https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Key Points from Government Website:
For the general public who are fit and well In line with scientific advice that the risk of transmitting the virus is much lower outside, the Government is permitting more social activity outside. You can spend time outdoors with members of your own household and, from Monday 1 June, you can meet in a gathering of up to six people you do not live with.
This can be in a public outdoor space, or in a private garden or uncovered yard or terrace.
The more people you have interactions with, the more chances we give the virus to spread. When seeing friends and family outdoors: It would be sensible to keep the total number of people you see limited – especially over short periods of time.
When you leave your home, you should follow the guidelines on staying safe outside your home. Most importantly, this includes the key advice that you should stay two metres apart from anyone outside of your household. Face coverings can help us protect each other and reduce the spread of the disease if you are in an enclosed space where social distancing is difficult and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
If you are showing coronavirus symptoms, or if you or any of your household are self-isolating (including if you have been contacted by the test and trace programme), you should stay at home – this is critical to staying safe and saving lives.
People aged over 70 and those who are clinically vulnerable.
Some people, including those aged 70 and over, those with specific chronic pre-existing conditions and pregnant women, are clinically vulnerable, meaning they are at higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus.
As we begin to ease restrictions, this group who are clinically vulnerable should continue to take particular care to minimise contact with others outside their household.
People who are defined as extremely clinically vulnerable.
There is a further group of people, who are defined, also on medical grounds, as clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus – that is, people with specific serious health conditions. They are advised to continue shielding to keep themselves safe by staying at home and avoiding gatherings or, if individuals wish to spend time outdoors, to take extra care to minimise contact with others by keeping two metres apart at all times.
Points to Note:
- The government is still asking all people to consider the amount of contact that they have with others even within the six person limitation.
- There are further considerations as to the amount of external contact if you are over 70 or clinically vulnerable or clinically extremely vulnerable.
- It is important to consider any activity against this government advice which for everyone is to minimize contact with others as much as possible.
To make an assessment of whether you should undertake any activity our advice is that it is important to carry out a risk assessment as you would do for any U3A activity.
In the case of resuming an outdoor U3A exercise activity there would be two elements to any risk assessment to be considered.
It is strongly advised that you record any assessment before taking part in activity. The first part of the risk assessment is to identify the overall hazards and risks involved in the actual activity you intend taking part in and how the Government guidelines are accommodated in how you will undertake the activity.
In particular the clear advice from Government about ensuring social distancing and how this will be maintained throughout the activity.
Secondly we would strongly advice that each person participating undertakes a personal participation risk assessment considering the Covid-19 risks and hazards that taking part poses to the individual. Our advice is that it is imperative that everyone completes a personal assessment of this nature and records it.
This is important because there are differing requirements for:
- people with different health conditions – clinically vulnerable, or clinically extremely vulnerable
- people of different ages
- members living in a household where there is someone who is considered clinically vulnerable, or clinically extremely vulnerable and therefore has limitations on contact with others.
Our advice is that a personal participation risk assessment should take into consideration:
- a person’s physical health and any underlying issues
- the health and circumstances of those they may be living with or isolating with in their household.
For your assistance in this matter and to enable you to make a thorough assessment of your own and the activity risks involved, please find attached a sample Risk Assessment Checklist which everyone should view and complete including the personal section before considering taking part.
This Third Age Trust Risk Assessment Checklist is now available as a download from the Documents section of the Portsdown U3A website.
23 March 2020 – The latest message on coronavirus from the Government has changed.
To find out more please read the latest advice by following the links below:
18 March 2020 – To Chairs and Secretaries from the Third Age Trust
Following the Government and NHS announcement yesterday, the Third Age Trust has created a dedicated page on the national website to keep you up to date with the latest guidance and advice – both general and specific to U3A.
Living History in Unprecedented Times
U3A members are being asked to help craft a shared learning project where they create living history of this extraordinary time.
The project will look for personal thoughts, ideas and reflections on how this feels to you and what you are doing to deal with it. Members may want to keep an electronic diary or to find a little note-book which you can have close at hand to scribble down thoughts as they come.
We are asking people to write up anything they think relevant to having to be at home and your thoughts and reactions. You may wish to write something each day for example, or once a week or simply when something of note happens. You may read an article, book or see a programme which triggers some ideas or thoughts.
We are also looking for ideas and reflections on how you are keeping your interests going if you are online and if you have access on your television, radio or via the internet.
It’s also pretty important to think of good things that happen so in the journal make an effort every day to list five things that gave you pleasure however small.
We will be expanding our support of this project in the coming days including suggested questions that you could ask yourself to help structure your thoughts.
We are currently recruiting volunteers to be contact points to offer support and advice.
If you want take part – please keep in touch with us. At the moment share your ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org but in the next few days we will have a dedicated email address for this living history project. So keep checking the website and national newsletter.
We look forward to hearing from you.
17th March 2020 – Message from PU3A Committee
18th March 2020 Cosham Baptist Church 1.00 pm – 2.00 pm Cancelled
15th April 2020 Cosham Baptist Church 1.00 pm – 2.00 pm Cancelled
15th April 2020 Cosham Baptist Church 2.00 pm – 4.00 pm Cancelled
The committee are sorry we have to put these measures in place but safeguarding the health and well-being of our memberships is paramount.
The Government and the Chief Medical Officer for England have asked the nation not to have or attend large gatherings to try and slow down the spread of the virus. Also, to have a 2 metre distance between each other, this would not be possible at the renewals table or at a general meeting.
New procedure for Membership Renewals
If you still need to pay your subscription for the Membership year 1st April 2020 – 31st March 2021 these are the 2 methods available now:
By post: Cheques made payable to Portsdown U3A
Full membership £16.00 Associate membership £12.50
Send to: Membership Secretary with an SAE so your card can be posted on to you. (address in email)
By bank transfer: Sort Code – 54-30-11 Account Number – 35281162
Message in reference box: Your membership number followed by surname so we can identify where the payment came from.
To receive your card, please send to the Membership Secretary with a SAE so your card can be posted on to you. (address in email)
No cash – not feasible at this time – sorry.
Please keep in touch with each other so one feels too isolated.
Keep safe; best wishes from
The Committee, Portsdown U3A
14 March 2020 – Message from PU3A Committee
At this present time the Interest group leaders are in the best position to consult with their group members as to whether they will be meeting up at their next and future meetings while the Coronavirus is moving forward into our lives.
We all know that the virus is highly infectious and because it is a new virus we have no immunity to it at present. Also the majority of our members fall into the main ‘at risk’ category as we are 60+.
Each individual member is responsible for the decisions they make during this period. Some of our members either have underlying health issues or they are in close contact with a friend or family member who is more susceptible to hospitalisation if they contract the virus. We all need to be mindful of others at this time.
Having consulted with the National Office; no one in any U3A organisation is covered by insurance for this virus, so if a member decides to attend any U3A event/group/meeting they do so having made that decision for themselves.
Any groups going abroad during this period would need to adhere to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office guidelines on travel.
Keep safe, look after each other and best wishes
Committee, Portsdown U3A
14 March 2020 – Message from PU3A Committee
As a precaution, the following meetings are being cancelled, as the majority of our members are 60+ and fall into the high risk category in relation to the infectious nature of the Coronavirus:
General Meeting – 18th March 2020 – cancelled
A decision with regard to closure of subsequent meetings will take place closer to the date.
Coffee Morning – 23rd March 2020 – cancelled
This event will be reinstated when the current situation has moved on and does not pose a potential problem to our members.
On these two dates renewals will carry on as usual:
Wednesday 18th March 2020 and Wednesday 15th April 2020
The renewals will take place in The Front Hall of Cosham Baptist Church (CBC) between 1.00pm and 2.00pm.
The usual payment methods apply on these two occasions:
Cheque made payable to Portsdown U3A for £16.00 or cash.
If you feel you would rather pay without attending in person these are the methods available:
By post: Cheque made payable to Portsdown U3A for £16.
Send to: Membership Secretary with an SAE so your card can be posted on to you.
By bank transfer: Sort Code – 54-30-11 Account Number – 35281162
Message in reference box: Your membership number followed by surname so we can identify where the payment came from. To receive your card please send a SAE to the Membership Secretary so your card can be posted on to you.
For those members who have already paid by bank transfer or cheque, and still need to receive your card, you can collect your card by two methods:
In person: at CBC on 18th March or 15th April between 1.00pm and 2.00pm.
By post: please send a SAE to the Membership Secretary so your card can be posted on to you.
If you gave your cheque to a group leader they will have collected your card for you.
Keep safe, look after yourself and best wishes
Committee, Portsdown U3A
3rd MARCH 2020 – CORONAVIRUS ADVICE FROM THE THIRD AGE TRUST
If a member has returned from one of the areas identified by the government and has any of the symptoms identified on the government website they should not hold interest groups in their own homes, or attend interest groups or attend monthly meetings until they have followed the NHS advice provided after calling 111.
If a U3A finds that a member has contracted coronavirus, please let the Trust know immediately.
The members of interest groups that any member with coronavirus has attended should all call 111 to ask for advice.
The monthly meeting should be cancelled for that month (and possibly longer) until the spread of the virus has been assessed.
In general a U3A may consider other precautions such as using hand sanitiser gel in interest groups and monthly meetings and reducing physical contact such as shaking hands until further information becomes available.
29th FEBRUARY 2020 – UPDATED ADVICE FROM HEALTHWATCH – THE NHS CONSUMER WATCHDOG
What’s the risk of catching coronavirus in the UK?
The NHS and Public Health England are well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal.
The UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the public from low to moderate. But the risk to individuals remains low. If you have arrived back to the UK from mainland China and other specified areas, follow the advice for returning travellers.
How is coronavirus spread?
Like the common cold, coronavirus (also known as Covid-19) infection usually occurs through close contact with a person with novel coronavirus via cough and sneezes or hand contact. You can also be infected by touching contaminated surfaces if you do not wash your hands.
The risk of being in close contact with a person with coronavirus or contaminated surfaces in very low at the moment, as members of the public who have visited Wuhan, Hubei province, China are currently in isolation.
Symptoms of coronavirus
The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
· a cough
· a high temperature
· shortness of breath
When to call 111
Based on the scientific advice of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) the UK Chief Medical Officers are advising anyone who has travelled to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau in the last 14 days and is experiencing cough or fever or shortness of breath, to stay indoors and call NHS 111, even if symptoms are mild.
Do not go to a GP surgery or hospital. Call 111, stay indoors and avoid close contact with other people.
How to avoid catching or spreading germs?
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze. Put used tissues in the bin straight away. Wash your hands with soap and water often – use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available. Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
Published: 12 February 2020
The Government and NHS have issued advice for members of the public following the confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK.
Typical symptoms of coronavirus include fever and a cough that may progress to a severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.
The UK Chief Medical Officers are advising anyone who has travelled to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau in the last 14 days and is experiencing cough or fever or shortness of breath, to stay indoors and call NHS 111, even if symptoms are mild.
More information about the virus, as well as symptoms and advice, is available to view at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public
Or on the NHS England website at: https://www.england.nhs.uk/2020/02/statement-from-nhs-england-and-nhs-improvement-on-coronavirus/