Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): multi-purpose community facilities - guidance

Published: 21 Dec 2020
Last updated: 19 Jul 2021 - see all updates

Guidance for the safe use of multi-purpose community facilities during the coronavirus pandemic.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): multi-purpose community facilities - guidance
Other considerations

Other considerations


Toilets inside premises should be kept open and carefully managed to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Guidance is available on opening public and customer toilets.

Travel and parking

Those wishing to use a community centre should consider how far they need to travel and how they will travel to and from the building safely. People living in areas in Level 3 or above should avoid any unnecessary travel out of their local authority area, even if it is between areas at the same level unless they are travelling for a reason permitted in the travel guidance.

Car parks are permitted to be open and managers of premises and councils should consider practical measures such as changing the car park layout to help people socially distance. Decisions to reopen car parks are to be made locally. Please refer to the guidance on travel and transport.

Consideration of Equalities Legislation

In considering the re-opening of community centres managers (and service providers) should comply with the existing requirements under the Equalities Act 2010 which continues to apply.

Community centre managers must ensure that staff, volunteers and members of the public accessing the premises with protected characteristics are treated fairly and not further disadvantaged as a result of COVID-19 and decisions being made about the reopening of community centres. The duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled workers will continue to apply. This should consider whether any additional reasonable adjustments may be needed in the current circumstances. Service providers must also ensure that they comply with the Equalities Act. The Equality and Human Rights Commission have updated their advice and guidance for employers  to make it more relevant to decisions about return to work in the context of COVID-19. Any communications or guidance issued should also comply with the legislation.


Planning and preparation in advance of re-opening of centres with centre managers and service managers will be essential. Centre managers should provide any training requirements for staff and volunteers.

Centre managers should also ensure that training and communication on the safe use of the centre is provided for those responsible for the delivery of services and activities within the centre to ensure they understand their responsibilities in adhering to processes and working environment expectations. As a minimum we expect training around processes and working environment expectations to be provided for all staff and volunteers before restarting work in line with the expectations for each community centre.

Training methods should clearly communicate specific actions for the premises put in place to promote and support physical distancing. They should also set out the expectations of staff in ensuring compliance of these measures.

Centre managers should consider how training can be safely delivered, especially if elements are normally outsourced to third parties. Visual aids may be required as part of the training and for ongoing guidance and communications.

Training should also be in place for staff who undertake the cleaning of a premises.

Induction process covering any new or enhanced hygiene and physical distancing measures may be necessary. This induction process can:

  • help demonstrate commitment to taking the risks of COVID-19 seriously
  • build staff confidence that they are returning to a safe workplace reinforcing staff and volunteer responsibilities

First published: 21 Dec 2020 Last updated: 19 Jul 2021 -