Questions and answers
Q: Our service runs in a rented space, how do we approach our risk assessment?
A: If you share a space such as community facility, it will be important to consider the measures or operating models already in place. You should communicate regularly with the setting to ensure that you have clear agreement and understanding of cleaning arrangements and maintaining physical distance from other users. It is important that your risk assessments and associated measures are consistent.
Q: How do I carry out a risk assessment for my setting? Is there any support or guidance for carrying out risk assessments?
A: Employers must protect people from harm. This includes taking reasonable steps to protect staff, volunteers, children, young people and others from COVID-19 within the setting. Service providers must ensure that risk assessments take place on a setting by setting and individual basis where required.
The person carrying out the risk assessment should do so having read the relevant guidance from Health Protection Scotland and the Health and Safety Executive. The Guidance is not intended to provide a checklist for settings, as all settings will have different factors to consider.
Individual risk assessments should be carried out for individual members of staff or children where required. The Scottish Government has published guidance on individual risk assessments for the workplace.
Q: Will I be able to reopen my service in its usual community based setting?
A: Activities that are able to operate under the route map, including registered childcare, can now take place within community spaces where: accompanying guidance for the safe operating of those services is available and; the landlord/owner is content to open their premises.
We recommend that you contact the owner/landlord of the community space in the first instance.
Scottish Government has worked with SCVO to establish a co-ordinated resource hub for communities and the third sector. The Coronavirus Third Sector Information Hub is designed as a single contact point for the third sector and communities and includes advice, guidance and information on funding. The website includes links to relevant guidance developed by the Scottish Community Development Centre (SCDC) on ‘Supporting Communities Safely’. SCDC continue to review and update the guidance and organisations are encouraged to regularly review the pages for the latest information.
Q: There isn’t enough room in my setting to allow for large groups to be split, what can I do?
A: Settings should apply proportionate, risk-based approaches to limiting contacts between children and adults, including under 12’s. Contacts should be limited by managing children within groups. Consistency of groups is beneficial, and efforts should be made to keep children within the same groups for the duration of the day or session, where possible. More than one group can use a large space, but children should not mix freely with children in other groups, including in open plan settings. Providers may want to consider the use of additional space such as an outdoor space as this is also beneficial in reducing risk of transmission of the virus.
Q: What will happen to my service if there is a local outbreak that does not involve our staff or families?
A: Test and Protect, Scotland’s approach to implementing the ‘test, trace, isolate, support strategy’, is now in place. It is a public health measure designed to break chains of transmission of COVID-19 in the community. Where there are local outbreaks or clusters of COVID-19, it may be necessary to bring in new measures or restrictions to reduce the spread of the virus. If restrictions are needed you should contact your local public health body.
Q: What will happen to my service if there is a local outbreak that involves our staff or families?
A: Make sure you follow Health Protection Scotland’s guidance for any issues in relation to COVID-19. This is available on Health Protection Scotland’s website. It is important that you check these websites daily to stay up to date.