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COVID-19 UPDATE

*Statement Updated – September 2021
Safely and Slowly Reopening

We are so grateful for all the lovely messages of support from our wonderful audiences and community over the last 18 months, and for the ongoing support we have received from stakeholders, especially Ystradgynlais Town Council, Arts Council of Wales and Powys County Council. With your support and by working together, all of us will come out of this stronger and more connected than ever.

The Welfare Ystradgynlais welcomes the progress made with the vaccination programme followed by the recent changes in relation to social distancing. Whilst these changes will allow our community to make the first steps toward recovery, our staff and Charitable Trustees remain cautious.

The safety and confidence of our partners, customers, staff, volunteer team and audiences remain paramount. We will use the Welsh Government guidance and instructions to institute our own risk assessment, and we will use all reasonable measures to maintain a safe and comfortable environment for customers and staff to work in.

Measures include:

  • More emphasis on contactless ticketing and purchases. 
  • Increased ventilation.
  • Enhanced cleaning, including the use of a state of the art environmentally friendly anti-bacterial and viral fabric cleaning system.
  • Regular lateral flow testing and daily temperature checks for staff.
  • Continued signposting towards track and trace. 
  • The use of face coverings throughout the building including in the auditorium.
  • Ongoing reminders to audience members that should they need to stay home if they exhibit any symptoms of Covid, they can be safe in the knowledge that they will receive a credit or transfer.
  • We will follow the latest Government guidelines – staff will repeatedly emphasise “Hands – Face – Masks – Fresh Air “etc.
  • We are encouraging customers to make use of the free to access lateral flow tests.

More in-depth details on the above points can be found below*.

Throughout the pandemic, we have supported essential services working at our venue, including the Welsh Blood Donation Service and the Covid-19 Testing Unit and Vaccination Clinics. Also, alongside our regular Arts partners, we have co-produced theatre for adults and children, we have operated our own children’s and community engagement activities online, and more recently we have undertaken outdoor theatre throughout the summer.

As a multi-purpose venue we need all our activities to be functioning together to make us financially viable. And we are now in a position to welcome all organisations and community room hire back into the building. We will begin a phased re-opening to community groups in September – this will be followed by live indoor audiences and then last but not least, cinema. We hope to be offering all our services by October, but please bear with us as we will be limiting the numbers of groups and retaining social distancing within our spaces throughout September as we seek to build confidence and reassure our patrons.

We will take the opportunity to review this policy as September progresses with the intention of moving toward full capacity for some events.

*COVID SAFETY INFORMATION & REQUIREMENTS FOR EVENT ATTENDEES
(Room Hirers, please get in touch for our Covid-Related Room Hire Risk Assessment):

Balancing the long established financial pressures to reopen at full capacity now that Welsh Government regulations allow, brings many considerations and challenges for us and all Welsh theatres and performing arts venues – we know that audience confidence is imperative for the sector to survive.

TESTING:

Like the majority of the Welsh theatre sector, we are encouraging customers to make use of the free to access lateral flow tests that can be sent to your home and carried out in your own time. Knowing that you are safe before you go to a performance helps protects those around you and will keep the magic of theatre alive. We will be promoting this message through Creu Cymru’s ‘Testing, Testing 123 campaign’, which launched on 31st August. #testfirst  #supportWelshArts

ADDITIONAL CLEANING PROCEDURES:

Additional cleaning of toilets and touch points have been scheduled, our enhanced cleaning includes the use of a state of the art environmentally friendly anti-bacterial and anti- viral system. It’s a fogging method that kills Covid for long periods on fabric and all surfaces.

INCREASED VENTILATION:

We are increasing ventilation around the building. Both the Lesser Hall and our Main Auditorium have automated fresh air handling systems, which keeps you safe but you may find it cold when you attend our winter events. Please feel free to bring your own blanket or throw to keep yourselves warm and cosy while you’re watching a show/film.

SOCIAL DISTANCING:

Any events advertised as socially distanced will remain so (including cinema when we are in the position to re-commence). You will be made aware in advance of any changes to seating capacity. You will also notice that some of our winter events will be highlighted as events with full capacity. For those events, seats will be limited initially and released as we review the latest guidelines. We encourage social distancing around our venue with signage, one way systems and socially distanced queuing.

TRACK & TRACE:

We will continue signposting towards track and trace for all. Please have the names and telephone numbers ready of all adults in your group at the time of booking to help us speed up the booking process. These details are strictly for track and trace purposes and will be destroyed 21 days after each event. As an extra precaution, you can also scan our QR code (doted around the building) via the Track and Trace app. This is optional.

CONTACTLESS TICKETING & PURCHASES:

We are currently not handing out paper tickets – we will ask for your email address to send your tickets to. You can either print them out at home or show them on your phone. We are also currently working on a mobile phone app for purchases at the bar, for those that wish to use it to order. We do still accept cash payments, however card payments are preferred to stop the spread & reduce queuing times at the box office and the bar. At this time, our sweet shop will remain closed – please feel free to brink your own snacks and drinks from home.

Please note, you will need to pay for your tickets at the time of booking, we cannot hold your tickets on reserve.

In order for us to plan our seating layouts (SEE SEATING INFORMATION BELOW), we need to know exactly how many people are attending.

SEATING:

To enable us to be as flexible as we can with our seating layouts, we will not be allowing customers to choose their own seats for the majority of our events (Those with a seating plan will be accessible on that particular event’s booking page). As a multi-purpose venue, a ‘one size fits all’ seating plan is not a viable option for us especially during these tough times, so we will be allocating seating in advance behind the scenes. This means that you will be shown to your seats on arrival once you’ve checked in at the box office. To ensure that you are sat together with friends, family etc, please book in advance online as a group booking as we’re unable to guarantee you are sat together otherwise.

Also, as we are working with a reduced seating capacity to maintain social distancing, we also can’t guarantee that there will be tickets left to buy “on the night”.

FACE MASKS:

Everyone (our staff, room hire users / their staff, event attendees and students over the age of 11) will be reminded to wear face masks in all public areas including toilets and foyer whilst entering and leaving the building.  Masks will be available to purchase at the box office if you forget yours. We know that some customers will want the freedom to remove masks when seated, we will not make masks compulsory when you are sitting down but we encourage all customers to help us make all customers feel comfortable.

HAND SANITISER:

We encourage use of hand sanitiser – these can be found dotted around the building. Please sanitise your hands on arrival and on leaving.

If you have any further queries, please don’t hesitate to contact us at boxoffice@thewelfare.co.uk or on 01639 843163.
We look forward to seeing you soon. Stay safe.

Team Welfare