This page is in 3 parts – Current Restrictions, Roadmap to Ringing Resumption and Ringing Survival & Recovery.
These restrictions are in place until 17 May.
For tower bells, the ringing of a single bell or Ellacombe chime (or bells in the case of a ringing household or bubble) as part of an act of worship is not prohibited, and if you think it is important enough for a bell or bells to be heard in your community, and you can do it without putting yourselves or others at risk, then that is your decision to make. The only exception is for young ringers groups following the ‘out of school settings’ guidance.
For handbell ringing the rule of six applies but that must be outdoors (up to 15 for young people).
CCCBR update: https://cccbr.org.uk/coronavirus/
Roadmap to Ringing Resumption
No earlier than 17 May
The Central Council have published draft guidance for the period from 17 May to 21 June to enable ringers in England at least to plan for the next phase of lockdown release. This guidance has been agreed with the House of Bishops Recovery Group, but it remains in draft form until the Government finally confirms that its four tests have been met immediately prior to 17 May. The guidance is a major step change from previous guidance.
There are two new documents on the Covid guidance pages of the Council website. The first is one specifically covering this five-week guidance period, and then an update of the guidance note about individual risks.
The key points of the guidance are that:
- Rule of Six applies indoors – ringing sessions should be arranged for six people
- Hands – Space – Face rules apply – face coverings, hand sanitising between ringing, 1m plus mitigations when ringing
- Lateral Flow Tests – twice weekly, preferably timed for days of any sustained ringing
- Consider your own personal risk
- Restrict ringing time to 45 minutes whilst maintaining good tower ventilation
Please do read all of the two guidance documents as there is much more detail in them, and this is just a summary.
On 12th March a new paper was included by CCCBR covering vaccination and virus transmission: https://cccbr.org.uk/coronavirus/vaccination-and-virus-transmission-in-towers/
No earlier than 21 June
All legal restrictions removed
(it remains to be seen whether facemasks will still be suggested or mandated – that is not absolutely clear yet)
During any of these stages, ringers may still be cautious as not all ringers will be vaccinated, particularly young people. There is still risk of transmission and infection for us to be aware of; vaccination is not a passport. An article will be published in next week’s Ringing World with updated analysis of transmission in ringing chambers and the benefits of ventilation. This will just be for guidance though to be interpreted in accordance with local circumstances – the law will be the primary driver for what ringing is possible.
Post-Covid Ringing Survival & Recovery
There is a Toolbox on the subject of Survival and Recovery during Covid and post-Covid –
This includes various publications and issues of a newsletter.
There is also a national scheme of Recovery Champions. The ODG has several who have come forward to volunteer and would welcome more ringers to do so.