Reopening FAQs [October 22 2021]

FAQS: Reopening your Fáilte Isteach class

Please note, this is a working document. All feedback and suggestions are welcome. Please share your questions and comments by email to failteisteach@thirdageireland.ie

Last updated October 22 2021

As per public health guidelines, face coverings are recommended to be worn at all times indoors, unless proof of exception can be provided.

If your group are working with an all vaccinated room (within capacity guidelines of your specific venue) - it is an individual decision as to whether to wear a mask. If members of the group are not wearing a mask, social distancing if encouraged alongside all standard hygiene practices.

As with restaurants, masks should be worn as people move around/visit the bathroom etc.

Speak to your venue about current procedures in place for ventilation. Open windows and doors where possible. Consider the option to conduct a class outside (weather and venue permitting) – Government guidelines currently note that activities outdoors are safer.

Your venue may be able to provide you with guidance around their own cleaning protocols. Tables and chairs should be cleaned before and after each class and hand hygiene (see below) encouraged.

Read the advice from WHO regarding cleaning in non-health surroundings in the context of COVID

Sanitiser should be readily available for all participants, alongside signage to encourage its regular use. If sanitiser is not available in your venue, raise this with the venue manager and escalate to the Fáilte Isteach team if required.

Yes, there are translated posters in multiple languages available on the HSE website. There are also easy-read versions of materials and audio and video options.

Access all easy-read and translated resources here

If there is a positive case of COVID-19 in your group setting, the coordinator should notify the venue management. The HSE will then provide advice around how to manage a potential outbreak to the venue and this information can be shared with all participants. If further support is required regarding how best to manage a COVID-19 case in your class, contact us by email at failteisteach@thirdageireland.ie

While proof of vaccination is not a legal requirement in relation to attending a Fáilte Isteach class, proof of vaccination may be a requirement within your venue setting. The option of a mixed vaccination room (due to size/capacity) may not be possible for your group and in this case, many groups will request vaccine certificates from all attendees. Online classes may be an option to manage a mixed group at this time. 

Data protection law does not stand in the way of the provision of healthcare and the management of public health issues; nevertheless there are important considerations that should be taken into account when handling personal data in these contexts, particularly health and other sensitive data.

Minimise the amount of data you collect – Only collect the details that you need to provide for contact tracing or compliance purposes, e.g. name, contact number, time and date of attendance. In the case of licensed premises, records of the sale of meals to patrons must be recorded for compliance purposes. Please note that this process does not require you to ask people to verify their identity and customers should not be asked to do so.

Be transparent with your customers about why you are collecting this data – You and your staff members should be able to explain clearly the purpose for collecting personal data. If you have use an online booking system, information could be provided at this point to advise customers that their details will be retained for contact tracing.

Store this information carefully - You do not necessarily need to use technology to store this information but if you do decide to keep it electronically, ensure that the system you use is secure and delete the information at regular intervals when it is no longer required. Contact tracing details should not be kept in such a way that they are visible to other customers and you must ensure that this information is kept securely and confidentially.

Limit this data to the purpose for which it was collected - In particular, do not use this data for direct marketing purposes or to make contact with customers for any reason. Do not disclose this data to any third parties except the public health authorities who will request it for contact tracing purposes if necessary.

Ensure you delete contact details when you are no longer required to keep them for contact tracing or compliance purposes -

*The current public health requirement is for a retention period of one month.*

Schedule deletion and destruction regularly and ensure the data is disposed of safely, shredding any manually held data if you choose to store it in this way. Remember to delete from your recycle bin and delete any cloud based back up files if storing electronically.