How changes in restrictions at Step 1B in the Roadmap out of lockdown impact volunteering
*From 29th March*
At Step 1B of the Roadmap out of lockdown, people will no longer be legally required to stay at home, meaning people will no longer be legally required to undertake their volunteer role from home unless they cannot reasonably do so. From this date forward, people should continue to volunteer from home where possible and they can leave home to volunteer if they are not required to self-isolate for any reason.
· People can meet in groups of any size, indoors or outdoors, while volunteering.
· Volunteering which cannot be done from home can continue in closed business or venue while it remains closed to the public.
· Businesses/venues, community centres and libraries which are otherwise required to close or restrict their activities are permitted to open and be used, including by volunteers, for a number of specific purposes only.
· Accommodation such as hotels, B&Bs and holiday lets, which are otherwise ordered to close, are permitted to open for people who need to stay for volunteering purposes.
As ever, people should follow social distancing guidance while volunteering outside the home, or COVID-secure guidance if in a workplace. While travelling to volunteer or while volunteering, people should follow safer travel guidance.
*1st April* Changes in advice for clinically extremely vulnerable people
From 1st April, clinically extremely vulnerable people will no longer be advised to shield. Like everyone else, people in this group should volunteer from home where possible. They can also choose to volunteer outside the home. However, they’re advised to take extra steps to keep themselves safe. This includes minimising:
- the number of social interactions they have
- the time they spend in places where they can’t maintain social distancing
Organisations who wish to order rapid lateral flow test kits to undertake testing of their staff and volunteers who cannot work from home
All charities can now register directly on GOV.UK to order free coronavirus rapid lateral flow tests to carry out regular asymptomatic testing of their staff, including volunteers, who cannot work from home. This is provided they are registered in England and their staff cannot work from home. Organisations must register on or before 31st March. This is a change from the previous setup where charities without Companies House registration numbers had to email DHSC directly.