Advice from the NSW Government that community facilities can reopen is great news for residents of the Byron Shire.
Council is now working with the management committees of the halls it owns or manages to ensure they are aware of the COVID-19 protocols and have a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place which will apply to all people and groups that hire the venues, as well as to Council itself.
The Mullumbimby Civic Hall and the Bangalow A&I Hall reopened on 13 June 2020.
Other Council-owned halls will reopen from 1 July 2020, with staff now working with the volunteer management committees to get everything in place to comply with the directions from the NSW Government.
“Our halls are well patronised for a wide range of activities and are valued community spaces, and, like many things in our lives now COVID-19 will mean changes to how people use these areas,” Vanessa Adams, Director Corporate and Community Services, said.
While halls will have their own safety plans, hirers will need to have their own safety plans as well.
Hirers will be asked to show their COVID-19 Safety Plan which should ensure participant numbers do not exceed the maximum number determined by the Public Health Order as restrictions are lifted, that they will provide hand sanitiser, that they will clean the areas they use and they will maintain a register of participants for contact tracing purposes.
Templates for COVID-19 Safety Plans are available on the Office of Local Government website https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/industry-guidelines/sports-recreation-and-gyms.
“It is important all those who use our halls respect and adhere to the rules that have been put in place by the NSW Government as part of its suite of measures to get public venues open again,” Ms Adams said.