Capacity and physical distancing
Physical distancing between adults remains a fundamental protective measure that should apply at all times. Individual physical distancing applies to staff, parents and carers (and any other adults who may attend the setting), older siblings and any external contractors or delivery people. It is essential that all these groups are taken into consideration.
All adults in settings should stay 2 metres apart in line with physical distancing principles. This will reduce likelihood of direct transmission, and allow for more effective contact tracing through Test and Protect.
The household gathering restrictions do not apply to any gatherings for the purposes of organised activities.
In assessing and managing risk, service providers should assess the number of individuals (staff, volunteers, children and young people, parents) that can safely be accommodated in a setting at any one time, using the guidance set out here.
Settings should apply proportionate, risk-based approaches to limiting contacts between adults, between children over 12 and between them and adults, both indoors and outdoors. Physical distancing should be maintained.
There is currently no scientific evidence on the duration of an indoor event or activity which might be acceptable, but indoor settings are seen as higher risk, and the risk increases with the number of households in one space and the ages present. Shorter durations are seen as safer options.
There is currently no scientific evidence on the duration of an indoor event or activity which might be acceptable, but indoor settings are seen as higher risk, and the risk increases with the number of households in one space and the ages present eg older children may be more likely to transmit the virus than younger children.
Organisations/service providers should consider, as part of their overall risk assessment, whether their previous delivery model should be adjusted to reduce this risk. That could mean taking on a blended delivery approach (some remote or virtual and some face-to-face), or reducing the time spent indoors, utilising any outdoor space where possible or practical.
Although there is no specific restriction on the number of groups a service provider could support, they should take into consideration how many households they are meeting up with in a day and look to minimise the risk to themselves and anyone they live with by restricting this where possible.
The following factors will also be important to consider in determining capacity and making the necessary adjustments:
- ability to maintain physical distancing (2m) for all users of the site/space (between adults, between children over 12 years and between adults and these children)
- ability to manage enhanced cleaning and personal hygiene
- the specific setting for delivery
- potential needs/behaviours of children/young people
- the age of children/young people
- the size and layout of space for staff and volunteers, including office space, kitchen and any corridors and entrances.
- how indoor and outdoor spaces can be utilised and re-designed to minimise risks
- what staffing ratios are needed to supervise each space
- what alternative settings/spaces could be used and managed safely
- what insurance or permissions need to be in place for alternative private spaces
- whether you could work with outdoor providers or other service providers
- which cohorts of toddlers and children/young people might benefit most from access to face-to-face services,
We are not advising a maximum limit on the number of persons that are permitted at any one time, as the size and capacity of venues will vary. However, providers must ensure that the number of persons they allow in their venues or where their service is delivered, at one time can be safely accommodated with physical distancing in place. This should include users, carers, staff, volunteers and any other visitors, such as delivery persons or contractors.
Determination of capacity should take into account total floor space and likely ‘pinch points’ and busy areas, the building design and layout, and the availability of staff and volunteers to help manage the facilitation of services. Providers should decide upon the number of staff and volunteers that can reasonably follow current guidelines for physical distancing within the premises.
Adults attending group activities
Parents or carers (18+) can attend where the activity is to support their child who has an additional support need or the activity is aimed at children under five.
Facilitators will also count to the overall numbers when calculating capacity
Indoor activities are not permitted at Level 4. Outdoor and digital options can continue.
Under fives do not count to overall numbers.