The way we behave can strongly affect the risk that we have of catching Coronavirus, and of passing it on to others. The owners of the buildings in which we ring are expecting us to maintain the highest standards of behaviour and adherence to guidance. It follows that permission to ring should be actively sought through the appropriate channel (see “Process of Return to Ringing”)
REDUCE THE TIME WE ARE IN CONTACT WITH EACH OTHER
The risk of the virus being passed on to others is proportionate to how long people are in contact with each other. The NHS has used 15 minutes of contact as a rule-of-thumb guide as to when risk becomes significant, and that is why it was chosen as the initial duration for the return of ringing. Ringing for 30 minutes would double that risk.
While infection levels are still rising our guidance is going to stay at the 15 minutes maximum. However, this will be reviewed when infection levels drop again, starting with those towers in lower risk Tiers.
Action: Limit the time we ring together to 15 minutes
DO NOT GET CLOSE TO ONE ANOTHER
Research suggests that virus-containing droplets may travel 2 metres from the person emitting them, and at 1 metre the risk is up to 10 times greater. There appears to be some mitigation by wearing a mask.
While infection levels are still rising our guidance is going to stay at 2 metre separation, with a concession that if three ropes fall in a straight line, the middle rope only needs to be 1.5m from the adjacent ones). However, this will be reviewed when infection levels drop again, starting with those towers in lower risk Tiers.
Action: Ring no closer together than 2 metres (1.5m in straight line), and always wear a mask
Action: No face to face teaching or rope handling session
DO NOT PASS ON INFECTION BY TOUCHING SURFACES
There is evidence for infections being passed on by touching contaminated surfaces, and then our faces. This underlies the government’s advice about hand sanitisation.
Action: Always use hand sanitiser
Action: Thoroughly clean any surface touched by more than one ringer
MIX WITH AS FEW PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE
The more people we mix with, the more likely we are to encounter someone who is infectious. And if we are asymptomatic ourselves, the more people we mix with the more people we put at risk.
Action: Apply the Rule of Six
Action: Form a stable ringing community, who always ring together and trust one another
Action: Do not travel out of your own community to ring elsewhere
Action: No visiting ringers, no extra people in the tower during ringing unless absolutely necessary (e.g. parent accompany or helping a young ringer)
RECHECK BEFORE EVERY SESSION:
IS IT APPROPRIATE FOR EACH OF US 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) had a sudden loss of, or change in, my normal 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.
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.