These guidelines are a major step change from previous guidelines covering a period when we will be going from virtually no ringing to a much greater relaxation of restrictions. They are possible because:
- There are currently very low levels of circulating virus in the community
- Vaccination appears to have significant effectiveness against variants of Coronavirus currently circulating in the UK
- Twice weekly lateral flow testing has been made available for the whole population by the government.
- There is evidence that vaccination is reducing transmission
These factors combine to mean that it is highly unlikely that people who are at risk of serious disease will have significant contact with an infectious person in a tower, if these guidelines are followed.
It is hoped that these will be a step on the way to even greater relaxation of restrictions on 21 June. However, it is probable, at some time in the future, that CCCBR guidelines will have to become more restrictive. This will be if and when virus transmission rises in the community, or new variants, not protected against by current vaccines, circulate in the community – because poorly ventilated ringing chambers can easily become pressure cookers for virus transmission.
We are moving swiftly with these relaxations, taking advantage of the current situation, to permit:
- Meaningful Sunday Service ringing
- A return of enjoyable recreational ringing
- Re-establishment of ringing communities
- Restoration of the physical fitness needed for ringing
- Opportunity to research the effectiveness of ventilation in different towers (to guide where adjustments need to be made for the long term sustainability of ringing)
Guidelines for May 17th to June 21st
The Rule of Six applies indoors. This means that only six people from different families can meet at one time. (However, if only two families are meeting together, the total can exceed 6 persons). In practice this means that ringing sessions should be pre-arranged for 6 people, rather than drop-in.
Hands – Face – Space rules apply. Hand sanitisation should take place before ringing and before changing ropes. Face coverings should be worn at all times inside. Social distancing in the tower should be 2 metres at all non ringing times. But whilst ringing, “1 metre plus mitigations” will be acceptable.
Consider Lateral Flow Tests. If you have a band with a mixture of vaccinated and unvaccinated ringers and wish for additional information on whether you are carrying the virus, a lateral flow test performed during the previous 48 hours may be helpful (data from Oxford University and Public Health England reports that over 75% of those with COVID test positive with these tests and over 95% of those with high virl loads).
Recheck before every session: “is it safe for me to ring?”
Ask oneself the following questions each time, before ringing:
- Do I (or anyone in my household) have a temperature or fever?
- Have I (or anyone in my household) lost the sense of taste or smell?
- Do I (or anyone in my household) have a new continuous cough?
- Have I (or anyone in my household) been in contact with anyone that is confirmed Covid-19 positive in the last 7 days.
- Have I had a positive Lateral Flow Test in the past 7 days?
If the response to any of these is YES, then we should NOT ring until the possibility of Covid-19 infection has been excluded and any quarantine period has been completed.
Restrict ringing time to 45 minutes, whilst maintaining good tower ventilation. During these weeks, longer periods of ringing should be restricted to planned episodes undertaken by low risk individuals, whilst researching the effectiveness of ventilation in a particular tower, using high-quality CO2 monitoring equipment (some guidance is being developed for this, including example monitors to use and what to do with them).
Restricting the time of ringing during the period is not a statutory requirement, but a recommendation for this transition period based on an average well-ventilated ringing chamber.
Last updated 3 May 2021