In early August, an on-line poll was taken of members to ascertain their wish for the Long Shed to re-open. A great majority of you voted in the affirmative, so as of Tuesday, August 25th, the Long Shed will again be open for morning tea. There are some of you who may still have concerns about the threat of contracting COVID, and will wish to continue with the current practice of bringing your own refreshments, and sitting outdoors. This can continue for those who wish to do so.

The decision to re-open is not just based on member responses. As a community, we need to accept that any chance of an effective vaccine being available in the near future, or ever, is remote. That means that we need to live with the virus, it will be part of our lives for some time yet. So the choice is to either open, with strict hygiene procedures in place, or stay closed indefinitely, perhaps for ever! While the shed has been closed, many of you have formed activity-based groups for morning teas, and while some of you have enjoyed this, it is not necessarily good for our shed. Shed assemblies allow members from individual pods to gather in a common area, promoting the comradeship which underlies the very purpose of coming to the shed. The current situation has dissuaded inter-mingling of shed members, and this can fracture the concepts of shed unity.

So, we will open again, but with strict hygiene conditions in place. These are not our rules, they are those established by state government. Many of you will be surprised to learn that just to allow members through the gates, we were required to complete and sign-up to an enforceable COVID plan. As part of that plan, social distancing and sanitising rules, must be in place. If we are caught breaking the rules, heavy fines are the result!

What procedures are required?

  • Tables will be sanitised before you arrive.
  • Queuing up for access to tea and coffee will require entry to the shed via the WEST entrance (carpark end) only.
  • Members MUST sanitise their hands at the station outside the entrance, even if they have just done so in their own shed.
  • The floor will have markings signifying 1.5 metre gaps. Please respect this degree of separation, particularly when you are at the urn.
  • Cups, tea and coffee will be next to the urn. Milk and sugar will be at the side counter. Sorry, no biscuits will be available.
  • Any of you concerned about infection transmission at this point, should use the wall sanitiser nearby.
  • Once you have finished making your beverage, use the office (billiard table) side of the building to return to a table. If you wish to use the outside facilities, leave by the EAST door.
  • No more than 4 members are permitted per table, do not push them together.
  • When you have finished morning tea, please return your cups to the kitchen, exiting via the EAST door.

All of the above may feel a little draconian, but it is a place to start. The rules may prove impractical to follow, but this won’t be known till we give it a try, “tweaking” is always an option. However, members are asked to do their utmost to ensure our shed is as safe as we can make it, so please, respect the conditions imposed on us, and have consideration for your fellow members.