January 2021: Updated Guidance On Volunteering During the Pandemic
As we enter a third lockdown, we’re updating you on the existing GOV.UK guidance on volunteering during the pandemic.
Here’s a summary of the guidance:
- People must volunteer from home unless it is not reasonably possible for you to do so. If you can’t, you can volunteer outside your home if they follow the social distancing guidance and no-one in their household has symptoms of coronavirus or has tested positive for coronavirus. This also applies to clinically vulnerable people.
- If you’re clinically extremely vulnerable, you should volunteer from home. You should not volunteer outside your home.
- Where volunteers are able to volunteer outside their home (see above) they can: meet in groups of any size indoors or outdoors while volunteering and travel to volunteer or while volunteering.
- If you volunteer at a formal support group (e.g. a mutual aid group or therapy group), there cannot be more than 15 participants (aged 5 and older) in the group itself but there is no limit on the number of volunteers. For example, 5 volunteers could support up to 15 parents and children in a group session, to make a group of 20 in total.
- Some volunteers will be classified as being in essential worker roles due to the nature of the services they are providing. Volunteers in essential worker roles are prioritised for coronavirus testing.
- Finally, volunteer-involving organisations must ensure their workplaces meet coronavirus safety standards.
For more information, see GOV.UK’s coronavirus volunteering guidance pages, Coronavirus: How to help safely and Coronavirus (COVID-19) volunteering, and there is new guidance available specifically for volunteer organisations here and community groups here.