In line with the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown, as of 19th July restrictions have now been eased. Although the rules have been relaxed, a careful and measured approach is required for us to ensure a safe return to our centres. Our duty of care to our learners, staff, and visitors remains our highest priority.
For information on getting tested, vaccines, coronavirus news and data, and support for businesses and residents, go to the Essex County Council Coronavirus hub .
What safety measures are we taking?
We continue to follow guidance set out by the Government, Essex County Council, and Public Health England and review our procedures on a regular basis to ensure that we are doing everything we can to minimise the risk of infection in our centres.
Our centres are open to learners and visitors; however, we have retained the following safety measures to protect our learners, staff and visitors:
Our staff working in centres will continue to wear masks as a precautionary measure when not seated, two-metre distancing cannot be maintained, and unless exempt. To help minimise the further spread of Covid-19, we encourage our learners and visitors to wear a face covering inside our centres unless seated and socially distanced in a classroom.
Please ensure that reusable face masks are clean on entering the building or disposable ones are new masks. Please take disposable masks with you when you leave and dispose of them properly.
We will continue to maintain a two-metre distancing in all areas of ACL centres. Learners should only arrive 5 minutes before the start their lesson and everyone on site should leave a centre promptly after the reason for their being there has ended. When visiting a centre, please follow the one-way routes that have been set out. There are markers to guide you around the building. You may have to exit the building and enter through another entrance to access certain parts of the building.
All classrooms will continue to have sanitising stations. Sanitisers will be available at entrance and exit points and all high touch areas. We encourage everyone to use these before and after using our facilities.
Regular and deep cleaning
Classes will be cleaned between uses and deep cleaned on a regular basis. Staff and learners are required to clean down their work areas after use. Premises will continue to provide regular cleaning of high touch areas.
Although rules have been relaxed, classroom restrictions on group numbers will remain in place for the time being and learners are asked to continue to keep at least two metres apart and to wear a face covering if this is not possible.
If you use computer equipment in your lesson, you are welcome to bring your own. This must be a USB connecting keyboard and / or mouse which can be connected to our desktop computers. Please ensure these have been cleaned before leaving home. We will have our own available but using your own, could reduce the risk of indirect contamination.
Additionally, if you require use of a mouse mat and/or wrist rest, please bring your own that have been cleaned before entering the building. We will have some available but to avoid indirect contamination, it would be better if you could use your own.
Our advice when using our facilities remains the same; only single use of lifts, toilets and specific areas of our centres unless a carer or additional support is required. There are instructions outside facilities advising you how to use safely.Fans are currently not permitted to be used anywhere in our centres.
We encourage all visitors bring in their own water and fill their refillable bottle at home where possible. Facilities are available to use single use only paper cups – these are only to be used if completely necessary.
We will continue to reintroduce our programme of activities and events in our centres over the course of the year. These will be advertised on our website, on social media and in our newsletters. Events will be planned with the Covid-safe measures in place that are outlined in this article.
For opening times, location and facility details, please see Our Centres page on our website.
All staff, learners and visitors attending our centres are highly encouraged to test themselves twice a week or the night before you are planning to come into a centre. ACL have home testing kits available, but they can also be collected from local pharmacies or online.
Track and Trace
We continue to take part in the NHS Test and Trace scheme and encourage visitors to scan the QR code or provide their details to a member of our team in the first instance. If you are staff, a visitor, contractor or family/carer for a learner, please sign in at Reception for Track and Trace reasons. If Reception is closed, please use the visitors book leaving you name, reason for visit, who visiting and contact number. Learners do not need to sign in at reception as you will be recorded at attending by the tutor using the e-register. Please ensure that you have either your ACL Security Badge displayed, or a visitors’ badge.
Showing symptoms or required to isolate
If you believe you may have any of the Covid-19 symptoms, please do not visit our centres. You will need to self-isolate and arrange for a test. If you have come into contact with someone who has been infected and have been asked to self-isolate, please adhere to this guidance and do not visit our centres. More information can be found on: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection
Courses starting September
We have launched a wide range of online and in-centre courses starting over the coming months. Our courses have been adapted to provide multiple delivery options that ensure you receive the best learning experience possible, be that at home or in our centres.
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A special thank you
We feel incredibly lucky to have such a compassionate community that looks out for one another. Even though it has been a difficult time for many of us over the past year, our learners and staff have shared so many great experiences together, achieving wonderful things that have such a positive impact on lives. We would like to say a special thank you for the ongoing support from our community and all those who continue to inspire others to improve their lives through learning.
As always, if you have any concerns or questions, please contact us.