Guidance on Coronavirus

Issued by The Arts Society Head Office

Dear Colleagues,

As the Coronavirus continues to escalate, we are issuing the following important guidance to all of our Societies.

COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China in December 2019. The World Health Organization (WHO) believes COVID-19 more severely affects older people and those with pre-existing medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, heart disease or diabetes).

Based on the WHO’s declaration that this is a public health emergency of international concern, the UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the UK from low to moderate. On 10 February, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, announced enhanced legal powers to protect public health, and earlier this week outlined the UK’s national response to the virus.

Whilst each Society and indeed Member must decide for themselves what precautions it may wish to take, The Arts Society strongly suggests you follow this advice:

  • If you or a family member is showing signs of illness, please do not attend your meetings and consult the guidance below.
  • We recommend that members consider refraining from any physical contact.
  •  Wash hands thoroughly before and after meetings for 20 seconds with hot water.

Any individual who feels unwell should follow the advice from Public Health England. If an individual is known to have been infected with COVID-19, then it is standard policy for Public Health to contact all those they have been in contact with. Full co-operation is expected to ensure the risk to others is minimised.

It is currently our expectation that all scheduled national and Area meetings will continue as planned. This is based on the Government guidance that whilst exercising caution, individuals should carry on as normal. We are monitoring the situation closely and will advise in the event of any possible changes.

Should there be the necessity for the office in London to close there is a contingency plan in place. Although the switchboard will state that the office is closed where possible direct line phone numbers will have been diverted and emails will continue to be monitored.

Please find below a link to the Governments Guidance (updated daily), and also the Government Action Plan.