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Guidance for members of the public attending meetings at Devon County Council


Please do not attend if you are showing symptoms of COVID-19.

You must contact the Democratic Services Team prior to coming to the meeting. We must ensure we have enough space for attendees in the room, therefore please contact Democratic Services if you wish to attend or observe the meeting in person.

Please arrive 15 minutes before the start of the meeting to ensure that the meeting can begin promptly.

Overview

It is necessary for the Council to hold the majority of formal committee meetings in person.

Whilst the government has removed any legal requirement to wear masks and maintain social distancing, it is necessary for us all to protect and look after each other and demonstrate personal responsibility in doing so.

We would ask that attendees continue to wear face coverings whilst moving around (in corridors and when entering and exiting the meeting) but they can be removed once seated (so mitigating transmission risk by the distancing measures in place).

There are other measures such as larger meetings rooms, so people have more space and we will be ventilating rooms with fresh air so you may wish to dress appropriately.

In the committee rooms, there is technology to enable a hybrid style meeting where committee members are physically present, but others, for example, the public, other members and press can attend remotely should they wish to do so.

Whilst many of the previous rules regarding, for example, social distancing and masks are no longer applicable in legal terms, we all have a personal responsibility to keep each other safe, so we would ask that you abide by the general guidance and pointers below:

  • Please follow all the signage and markers displayed in corridors/in rooms.
  • Please use the QR code and scan/check in.
  • We would ask the public to bring their own drinks/refreshments – there are no facilities for tea/coffee to be available at meetings, however, the water dispenser in the committee suite corridor is available.
  • Please knock on the door at main reception to attract staff attention – you will then be directed to the committee suite/chamber, ensuring you wear a mask as you do this.
  • On entering the meeting room, please sanitise your hands with the hand gel provided – you will be directed to an assigned space.
  • We are asking that face masks/coverings are worn until you are sat down – if you need to leave the room, please put masks back on.
  • Please avoid conversations in hallways or corridors, if you need to talk to colleagues/other meeting attendees, then please take the conversation outside.
  • The lift should only be used by one person at a time if required.
  • The available toilets will be those located immediately outside of the council chamber – there is a one in and one out policy in all toilets and masks should be worn in the toilets/communal areas.
  • Public access to the chamber/committee rooms will be primarily for those speaking or asking questions at committee – others will be permitted if space allows.
  • At the end of the meeting, please exercise caution and wear masks and try to avoid pinch points on stairs and at doors.

You may or may not be aware that everyone in England can now access free, regular, rapid coronavirus testing and a new campaign encourages individuals to test twice per week. Information about how to access this lateral flow testing is available at Rapid lateral flow testing in Devon.

Whilst the testing offer remains voluntary, it is to be encouraged, even for those who have received the vaccine.


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