ACAVA Coronavirus Policy

Date: 5 October 2020
To be reviewed at least twice a month until further notice.

On the 11th May the Government published ‘OUR PLAN TO REBUILD: The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy’. This policy has been updated according the latest government recommendations: it will be reviewed twice a month until further notice.


Stay alert

We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert. This means you must:

  • Stay at home as much as possible
  • Work from home if you can
  • Limit contact with other people
  • Keep your distance if you go out. The current guidelines are to keep 2 meters (3 steps) away from  anyone you do not live with, or 1 meter as risk mitigation whenever 2 meters apart is not viable.
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms or you have been advised to self-isolate as part of the government’s Test & Trace programme


Signs and symptoms of COVID-19

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • High temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • New, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • Loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you have noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

Most people with coronavirus have at least one of these symptoms. If you or a member of your household is showing symptoms follow the latest NHS and Government advice.

If you have symptoms, live with someone who has symptoms or have been advised to self-isolate as part of the governments Test & Trace programme please inform your studio building’s caretaker AND email studios@acava.org immediately so other tenants can be informed.


Stay at home as much as possible

It's very important to stay at home as much as possible.

When outside your home, it's important to try to stay 2 meters (3 steps) away from  anyone you do not live with. For more about when you can leave your home, see:

GOV.UK: full guidance on social distancing

GOV.UK: common questions about what you can and cannot do during the coronavirus outbreak


How to stop the virus spreading

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • If you can, wear something that covers your nose and mouth when it's hard to stay away from people, such as on public transport – see staying safe outside your home on GOV.UK
  • Do NOT touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

Licensees should keep a mask or suitable face covering in their studio building’s communal areas at all times. In the event of the fire alarm sounding put on the covering prior to evacuation. This should only be done if putting on the mask or face covering does NOT in any way slow or impede the fast evacuation of the building.


What is ACAVA doing to keep our communities safe?

  1. We are in close contact with our partner organisations including the NHS, Local Authorities and funders, working with them to ensure continuation of service as smooth as possible. We are asking that all users of our buildings follow the advice on the above pages. This information will circulated by email and will be made available to view on our website front page.
  2. In the case of a licensee or staff member developing symptoms, we will notify all artists with a studio in the same building.
  3. We have installed fixed hand sanitiser points at building entrance points.
  4. We have opened up an opportunity for studio holders to feedback on the current policy.
  5. We have requested visitors to the buildings to wear masks or face coverings during studio viewings.
  6. We have requested all studio holders to wear masks or face coverings while in communal spaces.
  7. We have installed NHS Test & Trace QR codes at the entrance of each building and encouraged all staff, studio holders and tenants to sign in during each visit.
  8. We request contractors working within each building to wear masks or face coverings at all time.
  9. We have set a maximum capacity for smaller communal rooms where social distancing is difficult and have installed signage for that purpose.
  10. We have conducted a Coronavirus Risk Assessment


ACAVA Statement on Covid 19, updated 27 May 2020

ACAVA is working to ensure our community remains healthy, we are reviewing the situation each week and will keep all staff, artists, volunteers and programme participants updated on the measures we are putting in place. 


Since 17th March 2020 we have been working hard to adapt our public programme to new social distancing rules, whilst at the same time ensuring we continue to deliver as much creative activity as possible, while maintaining social distance, staying home and staying safe.

In response we have created #ACAVAathome, a blog containing new digital content and news from our Creativity Clinic, Flourish, and Maxilla Men’s Shed programmes. You can see it here.

We have also been busy offline, keeping in touch with our most regular community members through weekly phone calls, staying connected, and making the most of our local networks to ensure everyone has access to the practical support they are entitled to, as well as creative activity to help maintain wellbeing.


Our buildings are open for use by artists unable to work from home. All users must ensure health and safety guidelines are being followed. If you share a studio space with others, please consider staggered access to reduce any unnecessary social contact. Further government guidance on safe working practices can be found here.

It is everyone's responsibility to play their part in keeping each other safe. We ask that everyone follows the following rules:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water on arrival at an ACAVA building, and again regularly throughout your time there
  • Observe the 2 meter social distancing rule at all times, allowing other studio holders to pass safely through entrances, corridors and other communal areas
  • Wipe down kitchen/ dining/ communal surfaces before and after use with disposable kitchen towels and anti-viral spray
  • Wipe down door handles, tools and equipment after use
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze, put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards
  • If you can, wear something that covers your nose and mouth when it's hard to stay away from people, such as on public transport – see staying safe outside your home on GOV.UK
  • Stay at home if you are experiencing the symptoms of coronavirus and follow the latest NHS advice.

ACAVA will support everyone accessing our buildings by ensuring there are adequate supplies of hand soap, paper towels and anti-bacterial spray. If you notice supplies are running low, please inform us via email to hello@acava.org as soon as possible.

ACAVA Hardship Fund

We are fully aware of the financial challenges that studio holders are facing. In response to the situation we have established, and aim to grow, a hardship fund to support studio holders keep their studios by offering temporary discounts on studio licence fees. Full details can be found here.

ACAVA staff continue to work remotely, please use email to communicate with us in the first instance, and please be patient with any non-urgent matters.

We will be reviewing NHS and government advice regularly, paying particular attention to advice that will affect the safe use of our buildings. 

If you have any queries about safe use of a particular building please contact: studios@acava.org

If you have any queries about the safe delivery of our current programmes please contact: Isabella Niven, Senior Programme Manager, isabella.niven@acava.org