Covid-19 SHEP Guidelines for In-Person sessions

Ardfoyle and Other rented Venues – February-2022

General Principles

  • Working at all times in accordance with Public Health
  • Particular attention to social distancing; cleanliness and promoting of good respiratory hygiene
  • Our aim is that no one becomes infected with COVID through being at a meeting/event/course organised by SHEP.


  • Until the Project guides differently, 1m social distancing and mask wearing is the norm to be followed
  • All participants to bring and use a facemask at ALL times in the building, including while seated throughout the course sessions. Masks available on request
  • SHEP will not be asking participants if they are vaccinated, so the vaccination status of participants could be mixed
  • Course sessions will be for a max of 2.5hours or a day may involve 2 x 2.5hours sessions
  • Room capacity is determined by what the 1m social distancing between chairs arranged in circle allows for (in Ardfoyle this is 13 total in the bigger Oak training room)
  • Only one training group at a time at present in Ardfoyle
  • Ventilation will be essential (each group to decide how to ensure good circulation of air)
  • Each training room will be sanitised by a Fogger after the session or cleaned. Sanitisers will be available at building entrance, hallways and toilet facilities. Participants are also asked to bring their own hand sanitiser
  • Attendance sheet will be kept by the facilitators, and not handed around. There is no sign in at reception
  • Facilitators and participants alike are asked to ensure they maintain their own awareness and self-protection around good hygiene
  • Hall Kitchen is available for Training groups this Spring. All participants to bring their own cup/mug (& Snacks) for short 20-minute session breaks
  • Toilets breaks will need to be managed by groups
  • Follow advice given in health awareness materials such as posters displayed on the premises such as related to sanitisation, hygienic cough/sneeze, distancing and one-way-systems

Decision making

When considering coming together for in-person sessions in the context of the above guidance, it is also essential that:

  • Facilitator pairs must be available and be in agreement that their group can come together in-person and when that could happen
  • Following on this, each group is to make decisions and go at the pace appropriate to them. Within the guiding framework, the Project wants each group involved in the decisions relevant to them
  • So as to ensure inclusion of everyone, and also to achieve a balance of interest between those desiring in-person, those who are more cautious and those with vulnerabilities (themselves or others), the Project is committing to facilitating the technical arrangement for ‘hybrid’ sessions (i.e. where people could be present in-person and others joining remotely)
  • There is understanding that hybrid arrangement will necessitate technical support and may involve extending the boundary of your group to temporarily include one of the staff as a technical aid. Please also understand that such arrangements are new, and patience and forbearance will be needed in trying things out
  • You see, in the first instance, your group and facilitators as the main place of support. However, please do contact the Project training and development staff member relevant to your group, if you need to talk through any questions or concerns you have in relation to how the guidelines might be impacting on you (this will be treated in confidence and an appropriate approach explored)

Consenting to the Guidelines with your Group

Please include in your group agreement a commitment to each other to follow the guidelines along the lines as below:

  • I have read and understood the Covid-19 SHEP Guidelines for In-Person groups and agree that I will abide by these guidelines and any future amendments
  • I understand and accept the risks posed by Covid-19 to me personally
  • I agree to wear a mask, adhere to 1m social distance, consent to attendance records and necessary contact details held by SHEP, being released for the purposes of HSE authorised contact tracing
  • I undertake that I will NOT attend my course in-person session, if I:
  • Have current Covid-19 symptoms (i.e. cough, fever, high temperature, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, runny nose, breathlessness or flu like symptoms) and awaiting PCR test result
  • Have had Covid -19 symptoms over the last 7 days and have not had 2 full symptom free days following a negative PCR (or antigen test if aged 18-39)
  • Have been diagnosed with a confirmed or suspected Covid-19 infection in the past 10 days;
  • Have been a close contact of a person who is a confirmed or suspected case of Covid-19 in the past 7 days
  • Have been advised by a doctor or required by Government regulation to self-isolate or restrict my movements at this time

Liam Mc Carthy, Senior Training and Development Officer

on behalf of the SHEP Staff team