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COVID-19 and U3A Activities - Status as at 1 June 2020

1 June 2020

President's Update

The U3A Committee has sought specific advice from the ACT Government on the latest health advice for the over 70 years age cohort in the ACT.

On Friday 22 May, the Office of the ACT Chief Health Officer provided the following information:
'While there is no evidence of community transmission in the ACT and no or very few cases, people who are vulnerable to COVID-19 can leave their home, including to attend public places. To further reduce the very low risk of acquiring and spreading COVID-19 everyone, including people who are at increased risk from COVID-19, are being advised to practise physical distancing, carry out frequent hand hygiene and avoid contact greetings, like hugs or handshakes. We would also strongly recommend that people who are vulnerable to COVID-19 avoid large gatherings or crowded places, where it might be difficult to maintain physical distancing.'

Meanwhile, the ACT Government announced on Tuesday 26 May that a number of restrictions on 'community and cultural activities' would be lifted from 11:59pm on Friday 29 May. This includes restrictions on 'choirs, bands and orchestras, caravan parks and campgrounds, places of worship and community centres'.

In response to these two developments, the U3A Committee is in the process of developing a strict COVIDSafe Plan that will set out how the necessary social distancing requirements are to be met to enable U3A classes to resume in the future. Because of the complexities involved, this Plan will take some weeks to develop and be approved. This means that a resumption of face-to-face U3A activities in U3A venues is still some weeks away. The resumption of U3A face-to-face activities in 'non-U3A' or community venues, such as clubs and church halls, will, in turn, depend on the specific requirements of the host organisations.

I will continue to keep U3A members informed of developments as they occur. Once again I thank you all for your patience.

Bob Nield

We welcome your comments and feedback via the U3A ACT Facebook site.