The purpose of this risk assessment is:
- To prevent the spread of Covid-19 by mitigating potential risks (as listed below);
- To promote the safety of individuals attending East Dulwich Tabernacle;
- To enable those attending to feel safe and confident with the arrangements;
- To comply with government guidelines for places of worship.
Potential risks and mitigation:
a)Worshippers come into contact with individuals infected with Covid-19
- Individuals should not attend the church if they are suffering from a raised temperature, new persistent cough, loss of taste or smell, other respiratory infection or if they have come into contact with anyone with Covid-19. The services will continue to be livestreamed for those who are unwell, vulnerable or in a household that is self-isolating.
- Current government guidelines state that people over 70 years old and those who are shielding should continue to stay away from places of worship at the present time. They are encouraged to access the livestream services.
- A list of individuals attending worship will be kept, in line with GDPR regulations, for 21 days as requested by the public health tracing service.
- Congestion will be avoided at the entrance of the building. It may be necessary to wait in a socially distanced queue on the path within the church grounds if there is a build-up of people waiting to be seated.
- A 1 metre-plus social distancing rule will be observed during the services wherever possible, and, in order to further mitigate risk, there will be no seating face to face and there will be no singing.
- Individuals and households will be allocated seating upon arrival into the main hall and it may be necessary to sit in a different place on each occasion. There will be a two-chair gap between individuals not in the same household.
- There will be no Morning School but children who are unable to sit quietly in the service may stay in the front hall with their parent.
b)Cross-contamination from surfaces
- Hand sanitiser will be provided at the entrance and should be used by all individuals entering the church.
- There will be no Bibles available. Worshippers are encouraged to bring their own or use electronic devices. If hymnbooks are used, they will be quarantined for 48 hours after use.
- All personal belongings will need to be removed from seats after the service.
- Church writing materials and toys will not be available during the current restrictions.
- Access to toilets and the kitchen will be limited to one person at a time, or more than one person in the same household.
- In accordance with government guidelines no food or drink will be allowed in the services.
- Backs of chairs, toilets, door handles and other touch points will be cleaned after each service.
c)Enhanced Airborne Transmission of the Virus
- In accordance with government guidelines it will not be possible to have singing at the time of re-opening the church.
- Windows, and doors where possible, will be open to enhance ventilation in the building.
- Attendees will be asked to leave one row at a time as directed by the stewards, using the three exits from the main hall to avoid congestion.
- Attendees will be encouraged not to gather in the church after the service.
This risk assessment will be subject to continuous review in the light of prevailing guidelines and local circumstances and with expected learning and improvements included. It is hoped that these arrangements will only be necessary for a short period and that there will be a gradual lifting of the restrictions.
The Pastor and Church Officers
East Dulwich Tabernacle Baptist Church
7 July 2020