04:20PM, Monday 01 March 2021
Elizabeth House, Cookham’s day centre for independent senior citizens, will reopen its doors after lockdown in a phased programme of restriction easing.
The first phase will begin in line with non-essential retail and services on April 12. Elizabeth House will operate at reduced capacity, as introduced after the first lockdown. The plan is for a slow return back to full capacity.
To begin with, two groups of eight members per day can enjoy either a morning session (9.30am–12.30 pm including lunch) or an afternoon session (1-4pm including lunch).
The centre’s COVID-secure protocol will continue to be observed, with temperature checking, a one-way system, mask wearing, sanitising stations, regular hand washing and social distancing.
Staff and volunteer helpers will be tested regularly to minimise any transmission risk.
It is expected that members will have been further protected by the vaccination programme.
Miriam Blazey, Elizabeth House’s manager, said that members have been ‘yearning’ to get back to enjoy the companionship and support that Elizabeth House provides.
She added that they are not able to provide dates for each phase of return at this point.
“One thing we have learnt is not to look too far ahead – partly because it would be confusing for our members but also because the goalposts keep changing,” she said.
“The first step is to return to the same system we had prior to closing before Christmas which the members are familiar with and is the safest option to start with.”
Chris Harris, chairman of trustees, said: “As we are hosting the most vulnerable members of our community, every precaution will continue to be taken to keep our members, staff and volunteers, safe.”
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