Change to restrictions mean NSW Halls may open soon

The NSW Government released information on Tuesday 2 June about the next phase of the use of Halls and Community Centres from 13 June 2020, which is good news for Girl Guides. However, there are important rules and considerations to follow, below, before making the decision to re-open the Hall. 

Sites Managed By Girl Guides
In short, these are the changes that will apply from 13 June in NSW for Hall and Community Centre access and use, and what this means for Girl Guides:

  • Guides Halls and Community Centres in NSW can reopen from 13 June, 2020 if they choose
  • The ‘4 Square Metre Rule’ applies for maximum numbers
  • A maximum number of 10 people per group only applies to fitness (including Pilates and yoga) or dance groups. This therefore applies to any of your external hirers in NSW with this kind of activity; they must be informed of this regulation if you wish to reopen your hall for subhire
  • The opening of a hall (Guide Hall or Community Hall) is entirely up to the owner/manager of the hall
  • Physical distancing and hygiene rules apply. Please follow the guidelines and checklists provided 

Checklists, poster downloads, infographics and more may be downloaded from Running Your Unit.

For Sites Managed By Other Parties
Units and Districts who meet in a Community Centre, Hall, School, Church Hall etc. in NSW that is owned/managed by someone else:
  • Please check with your contact for the hall (if you are in a leased hall or community centre) to establish if they are in fact opening at this time and what their COVID19 plan is for hirers
Primary Considerations Before Deciding to Return to Your Hall for Face to Face Meetings. 
  • Returning to face to face Guiding decisions are made at Unit, District and Region levels. Please ensure that the Guide Leaders who meet in your hall have chosen and are able to return to face to face Guiding, and be aware that girls themselves may also choose to not return to face to face Guiding yet. These decisions will be contingent on localised variables
  • Returning to face to face Guiding is an individual choice. Everyone needs to feel safe
  • Based on the ‘4 Square Metre Rule’, does your Hall accommodate your whole Unit including Leaders and Helpers? For example, if your Hall is 40sqm this allows for 10 people.  If it does not accommodate your whole Unit then your Unit should not re-open, or you may wish to conduct Guides over two separate sessions
  • If returning, decide:
    • who will clean and prepare the hall based on the hygiene and physical distancing checklists.
    • Who will organise cleaning and hygiene products for Girl Guide meetings at the hall?
If your Hall is not opening or your Unit, District or Region are choosing to start face to face Guiding at a later time
  • Remember you can continue to meet online and/or enjoy outdoor activities together (10p maximum in NSW, 20 in ACT and up to 100 in NT) while following the physical distancing and personal hygiene rules
Contacts
  • For additional specific questions about Hall use and hiring out your Hall please read these FAQs
  • Contact Jenny at Girl Guides NSW, ACT & NT for any further questions you may have on jenny@girlguides-nswactnt.org.au or 1300 447 548
  • Questions about external hirer arrangements or your contract with a community hall not managed by Guides contact Girl Guides NSW, ACT & NT's Property Team at propertyadmin@girlguides-nswactnt.org.au or 1300 447 548

Rules for Leaders 

Your health and hygiene are so important for your return to Girl Guides meetings. Please download the  Girl Guides Australia (GGA) Checklist for Leaders and Hall Posters (links below). Read these carefully and follow these and the additional Guidelines below to ensure that health and safety is the number one priority and proactively managed. 
  • Download and print the ‘Girl Guides Australia (GGA) Checklist for Leaders. Put a copy of this up in the Hall or in a folder that is used every meeting.   Follow this each time you prepare for and finish a meeting. It has important reminders for hygiene and physical distancing.
  • Download and print the ‘Welcome to Girl Guides – We are practicing physical distancing’ poster. Put this at the entrance to your Hall each time you meet.  
  • Download and print the GGA ‘Be Social While Keeping Your Distance’ poster and put up around the Hall for the girls.
  • Download and print the GGA ‘Don’t Forget to Wash Your Hands’ poster and put up in kitchen and bathroom areas for the girls.
  • Inform your other Leaders and District Manager (or similar) immediately upon feeling unwell. 
  • Stay home if you are unwell (refer to COVID-19 symptoms in the following FAQs).  
  • Parents are required to check and advise you on their child’s health before attending meetings.
  • Everyone is welcome to wear their own face masks.
  • Ensure you have sanitiser and tissues ready to be available in your hall at the entrance.
  • Try to hold meetings or activities outdoors where possible  - follow the maximum numbers allowed for your state/territory. In most states/territories this is 10 people in a group at present.
  • If meeting indoors then also follow the maximum numbers for your state/territory and the 4 square metre rule for indoor spaces. – see Guidelines for Community Halls here. You may need to split your group into separate meeting times.  These Guidelines for Community Halls apply to Hall hirers also.
  • No sleepovers, camps or District/Region events are permitted at this stage.
  • No cooking or food sharing activities at this stage. Girls to provide own water bottle and snacks (and not share these) if an activity requires this.  
  • Do not allow hugging, kissing or touching amongst the girls or with or between Leaders.
  • Furniture must be arranged so it is 1.5 metres apart. 
  • Cough/sneeze into your elbow or a tissue and dispose of tissues immediately; ensure girls do this too
  • Wash or sanitise hands after coughing, sneezing, bathroom visits and before eating; ensure girls do this too.
  • All bathroom and high touch areas (such as door handles) to be cleaned and bins emptied frequently, ask the girls and parents to assist with this, they could take turns
  • All internal doors to remain open (once everyone is inside) and lights turned on upon arrival to limit unnecessary touching.
  • If a girl is found in deliberate breach of the rules, then contact her parent or carer to collect her immediately and the Guide will not be allowed to return to meetings until permitted.
  • It’s up to you. We encourage Leaders to return to Guide meetings if you can, but if a Leader or a member of a Leader’s household is at a greater risk of a more serious illness if they are infected with COVID-19 (because of an underlying medical condition or age), we strongly encourage you to consider whether you should return to Guiding face to face. 

Uniform

Leaders are expected to wear their Guiding uniforms as usual.  

Poster Downloads

  Download PDF
Put up around the Hall for the girls
  Download PDF
Put up in kitchen and bathroom areas for the girls.
  Download PDF
Put this at the entrance to your Hall each time you meet.
Download PDF  
Put a copy of this up in the Hall or in a folder that is used every meeting. Follow this each time you prepare for and finish a meeting. It has important reminders for hygiene and physical distancing.

Frequently Asked Questions

I have woken up feeling unwell, what should I do? 
Now, more than ever, if you are feeling unwell (see COVID-19 symptoms below) stay at home to rest and recover and see a doctor if necessary. Please notify your other Leaders and District Manager immediately if you will not be attending Girl Guides. For the health and welfare of all, please only return to Face-to-Face Guides when you are confident you are well.

If I think I have symptoms of COVID-19, what should I do? 
COVID-19 symptoms include fever, tiredness, dry cough, sore or scratchy throat, aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, shortness of breath and diarrhoea. Children and young people are more likely to have a milder illness, and some may not have any symptoms. If you are at all concerned about your health, please see your doctor. 
  • The National Coronavirus Helpline (1800 020 080) is available to call 24 hours a day, seven days a week for further advice. 
  • To find your nearest testing centre visit the links below: 
What will happen if any Guide or Leader starts to feel ill or appears unwell during Girl Guides? 
If any Leaders are unwell on arrival or during a Guide meeting, please inform other Leaders and your District Manager and leave immediately.  If any Guide is unwell, parents are to be contacted immediately to collect her. 

Can I come to Girl Guides if I am awaiting COVID-19  test results? 
Anyone who has been tested for COVID-19 must remain in isolation until the test results are confirmed.

What measures are in place for Volunteers who are unwell? 
Volunteers should not attend any Guiding face to face activities if they are feeling unwell. 

If a Volunteer becomes unwell while attending a meeting, they are to contact their District Manager, Region Manager and/or Guide House, leave immediately and contact the National Coronavirus Helpline (1800 020 080) or their doctor for further advice. 

If a Volunteer has been tested for COVID-19, they must remain in isolation until test results are confirmed.

What will happen if a Girl Guide, Leader or Volunteer is diagnosed with COVID-19? 
If a Leader, Volunteer or Girl Guide is diagnosed with COVID-19, the organisation will be contacted by the Department of Health, who will advise the next steps. It is likely the Guide Hall or Community Hall will be shut down for approximately two days to allow for contact tracing and deep cleaning of the facility.

Quick Reference Guide

For any enquiries please contact your District Manager, Region Manager or call Jenny Allan, Girl Guides NSW, ACT &NT Membership Manager on 1300 447 548 or jenny@girlguides-nswactnt.org.au.

For the most up to date information on COVID-19 please visit these links: 


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