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Guidance for volunteers

With new national guidelines in place, many charities, community groups and other organisations will be wondering how it’ll affect their volunteers.

Where possible, people should volunteer from home. If they can’t, they can volunteer outside their home if they follow the social distancing guidance and no one in their household has symptoms of COVID-19 or tested positive.

Voluntary and charitable activities are exempt from a number of the new restrictions. This means that, where volunteers are able to volunteer outside their home, they can:

  • meet in groups of any size indoors or outdoors while volunteering
  • travel to volunteer or while volunteering.

As always, it should be a volunteer’s personal choice whether they want to volunteer, including outside their home, and they shouldn’t be compelled to do so by their organisation or group. Volunteer-involving organisations must make sure their workplaces meet COVID-19 safety standards.

People over the age of 60 and those who are clinically vulnerable don’t face any specific restrictions on volunteering and should follow the same guidelines. As this group could be at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, they may need extra support to follow social distancing rules and minimise contact with others.

There is a further group of people who are defined on medical grounds as clinically extremely vulnerable to COVID-19. That is people with specific serious health conditions. Clinically extremely vulnerable people can volunteer from home, but they’re advised not to volunteer outside their home.

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