Please note this information is as up to date and accurate as possible up to December 2nd, 2020. Tier 3 measures within Greater Manchester relating to “meeting people indoors” do not apply as the rules relate to meeting in a social context. Also I do not work from home and therefore do not need to consider the issues around being home-based.
The building and rooms have been risk assessed and measures put in place to minimise the risk of transmission and maximise protection for all staff and visitors.
Within the building there are handwash stations dotted around the corridors, as well as signage to remind you to keep 2 metres distance when possible. Screens have been erected at reception. There is a one way system in place whereby the elevator is used to go up to higher floors, with the stairs used to descend. There are also limits to the number of people waiting in reception at any one time and entry to the building is by appointment only.
Within my therapy spaces the seating arrangements are such that there is over 2 metres of space when sitting face to face. I have provided hand sanitiser in the room as well as individually wrapped packs of tissue which are pre-sanitised so there is no sharing of tissue boxes etc, along with sanitised sealed bottles of water to drink (though you are welcome to bring your own hot or cold refreshments!)
I ensure that client seating and door handles are cleaned with disinfectant wipes between visitors.
Masks/face coverings are NOT required within the building though you may of course wear one if you feel safer doing so. Masks/face coverings are certainly not required in sessions. If you do wish to wear a mask/face covering, either on the way to/from the room or during sessions, then this is of course your choice, though it can make it more difficult for me to understand your facial expressions etc. I am not able to wear a face covering in sessions myself as I find it inappropriate and too distracting for this type of work.
As counselling and psychotherapy usually involves 2 people at the most, the risks of coming into contact with multiple people and therefore multiple infection vectors are minimal.
While all the measures above serve to minimise risk, it should be noted that no risk can ever be reduced to zero and clients attend appointments with fully informed consent that any such visits are at their own risk.
To date neither myself nor the wider building have known of any infections or covid-related issues.
COVID-19 and Contact Tracing
You should be aware that the UK Government currently has contact tracing systems in operation, these are being used to monitor and prevent the spread of coronavirus. Contact tracing may reveal that we have had contact should either of us show up as infected or a contact of an infected person and in such a case you may be contacted by a contact tracer. You should make your own judgement as to whether you disclose any details of your contacts unless this becomes mandatory, and agree that I may reveal details of our contact if asked by a contact tracer. You agree not to hold me liable for any such breach of your privacy as this is beyond my control and in the interests of all our health and this is something we will discuss when meeting.
The situation is quite fluid and this page will try to keep as up to date as possible with government advice and information.
I hope you stay safe and well!
IMPORTANT: IF YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS OF CORONAVIRUS OR HAVE TESTED POSITIVE FOR COVID-19, YOU SHOULD FOLLOW GOVERNMENT ADVICE ON SELF ISOLATION AND SHOULD CANCEL YOUR APPOINTMENT AND NOT ATTEND UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES!