The Covid Safety Group met over Zoom on Friday 17th December and published the following minute:
We have considered a range of possible responses to the current situation. We have heard that levels of Omicron in the Oxford region are high, and that the advice of the Chief Medical Officer is that we should be cautious about social contact and prioritise the occasions on which we meet others. We remind Friends that opportunities for meeting for worship will continue to be available on Zoom.
We think it is reasonable currently to continue to offer in-person meetings, but these should be made as safe as possible for all those attending, and we will need to monitor how infection rates develop.
We are grateful for the purchase of a CO2 monitor for use on the premises, and we ask that this be used in all meetings, and ventilation increased (i.e. by opening more windows or doors) if the monitor indicates more than 800 parts per million of CO2.
The official requirement for places of worship is that those attending should wear face masks (i.e. fitted face masks, not simply visors) unless they have a medical exemption, and we ask Friends to maintain this practice in all parts of the building including the lobby. We encourage Friends to do lateral flow tests before attending meeting, and to remember that we need to show high levels of care for the most vulnerable members of our community.
We agree that the screen at the back of the meeting house should be opened and left open for the time being, to improve the ventilation in the meeting house and allow for social distancing.
We ask that tea and coffee should only be served on the verandah; Friends can then choose if they wish to drink it inside or outside.
If Friends wish to attend the meeting on Christmas Day, we ask that the meeting and lunch should be held in the meeting house and the CO2 monitor used. We ask Friends to do a lateral flow test before deciding whether to attend.
We ask Elders to remind Friends of appropriate precautions, including wearing masks, and maintaining social distancing as part of their welcome to meeting. We remind all Friends that every choice we each make has repercussions, for ourselves and for others; we need to be vigilant and understand that the guidance may change as the situation develops.