Please note: this was an email that was sent out to groups on 4 March 2020. Our advice is likely to change over the next few days and we will keep you updated.

We wanted to let you know about Cinema For All’s response to Coronavirus in the UK, as we know some of you are concerned about holding public gatherings at the moment, especially if you have vulnerable audiences/ members. We don’t want you to be worrying or panicking, but there are some important things for you to know/ basic things you can do to help everyone do their best to stay healthy.

Cinema For All will, alongside other organisations, be carefully monitoring the situation and will continue to share information as appropriate, however currently we are recommending you follow the NHS’s guidelines (bear in mind that this advice may change over the coming weeks/ months). Our additional advice today is based on advice from the Small Charities Coalition and ACAS.

It does not currently appear necessary for you to cancel any upcoming screenings, however you may wish to contact your members/ people who have booked tickets, to give them more information that might help you protect both yourselves, your community and people who are vulnerable. It’s especially important to remind people that if they have travelled to one of the high risk places, to stay home and self-quarantine. Again, this info can be found on the above NHS link.

Below is some advice (again, based on NHS, ACAS and SCC communications) which you might find useful:

1. Wash your hands regularly – after going to the loo obviously, but also after coughing, sneezing and public transport travelling. It’s also been recommended that people avoid touching their faces too much.

2. Avoid sneezing or coughing without covering your mouth and nose. Ideally, you’d have a tissue, but the official guidance is to use your elbow if you don’t have one to hand. Dispose of used tissues quickly in a bin.

3. Talk to your venue about their cleaning processes. Make sure the hand-washing facilities are up to date and vulnerable surfaces (such as door handles) are wiped with anti-bacterial products frequently. If they have a policy for dealing with the virus, ask to see it.

4. Make sure your address and emergency contact details for your fellow volunteers/ committee members are up to date.

5. If you know of any particularly vulnerable or elderly audience members, perhaps check on them to make sure they aren’t too worried.

6. In case of a wide outbreak in Sheffield, we may choose to close the Cinema For All office and have the team work at home for a while. If this happens, we will send out any film bookings a little earlier than usual, but you may be asked to screen from your own copy. We will keep equipment hirers aware of any closures with hosts in their area.

7. Again, at present, there is no need to cancel screenings, though we will keep our eye on this and recommend others do the same. We do however, recommend that you contact your members/ audience to let them know that you are monitoring the situation, and to not come to your screenings if they have visited a high risk area.

That’s it for now. Again, try not to worry at the moment, but it’s always sensible to be prepared and be hygienic.