Operations During Lockdown

You will have all seen that from Thursday 5 November 2020 until Wednesday 2 December England enters another phase of lockdown, with new restrictions in operation. Under these, people should generally remain at home and leave only for a limited set of reasons (a list of exemptions and other guidance is provided below).

Although we can find no guidance relating specifically to the operation of community radio stations, Ofcom stated in July that:

We recognise that audiences will want to receive, and broadcasters will want to broadcast, content about the coronavirus pandemic, and that the communication of accurate and up-to-date information to audiences is essential.

This statement, together with the general exemptions that permit going to work, where working at home is not possible, and for voluntary work, strongly suggest that not only are we permitted to continue to operate the radio station as planned, but that we should in order to provide our local communities with essential local news, guidance and advice through the period of the lockdown. This, after all, is the primary purpose of the organisation.

To this end, we have requested BaNES, Wiltshire and other local councils and public agencies to include Radio Bath on their distribution lists for public statements about the pandemic for us to relay to our listeners/their residents and workers. These are beginning to arrive in the inbox that will be available to presenters to provide updates during their programmes as appropriate.

Every visitor to the radio station raises the risk of infection. To protect each other and to enable the radio station to continue to operate safely, we have decided to implement the following measures:

  • No one should be present in the radio station who need not be there at the time. We should actively consider on a case-by-case basis whether a guest, client, service provider, etc. needs to visit the station, or can be accommodated in some other manner.
  • Masks should be worn on entry and when moving around the radio station at all times. They may be removed once seated and socially distanced from others present.
  • Everyone must scan the QR code or complete the logbook in the reception area on arrival, and use the sanitiser available.
  • Desks (in including the studio) should be wiped down after presenting or when finished with. Where possible, presenters should bring in their own headphones and mic shield.
  • We ask that volunteers take sensible precautions in the normal course of their daily lives to minimise the risk of contracting an infection for the sake of their Radio Bath colleagues and the ongoing operation of the radio station.

The radio station will be deep cleaned by a professional commercial cleaning company shortly before launch. Cleaning will then continue throughout lockdown and beyond. Cleaning materials will also be provided for individual presenters and other volunteers to use as required. Self-evidently, presenters should wash their hands thoroughly before entering the studio and on closing up.

Summary of Lockdown Rules & Guidelines:

  • for work, if you cannot work from home
  • for education (early childcare, schools, colleges and universities)
  • for exercise and recreation outdoors with your household, support bubble or on your own with one person from another household
  • for all medical reasons, appointments
  • to escape injury or harm (domestic violence)
  • to shop for food and essentials
  • to provide care for vulnerable people
  • for voluntary work 

In addition:

  • Support bubbles remain
  • Vulnerable people and over-70s will not be told to shield, but should have “minimal contact” with others
  • Non-Covid healthcare will continue
  • Non-essential shops will close, as will bars and restaurants (except takeaways)
  • Gyms will close
  • Playgrounds remain open
  • Premier League to continue
  • Holidays banned but work trips allowed subject to quarantine
  • Churches open for prayer
  • Funerals limited to close family friends