By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
Forum sponsored by:
Forum sponsored by Allendale Jan 24th

New Covid Rules

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
Harry Wilkes11/09/2020 16:19:16
1023 forum posts
63 photos
Posted by V8Eng on 10/09/2020 23:44:34:

Apparently we are now to get local COVID Marshall’s on the streets, the reporter said they have no powers and will be employed by local government (but they do not have to do it).

These Marshall’s will be paid for by Taxpayers LocalGovernment.

You really couldn’t make it up even as a fairy tale!

Oh I forgot it’s Politicians making rules, so unconnected to the real world anyway.

Edited By V8Eng on 10/09/2020 23:49:39

"These Marshall’s will be paid for by Taxpayers Loca lGovernment."

Would anyone pay this guy even with rusty washers smiley


Graham Swales11/09/2020 16:29:33
33 forum posts

In answer to John H's initial posting. It is not so much what "others" are doing but what your own documented risk assessment considers the outcome of the potential issues raised to be. Yes this means getting involved with H&S and yes I expect the normal childish comments regarding "Elfin Safety" but it is the way forward. Graham

Nigel Graham 211/09/2020 22:08:46
913 forum posts
16 photos

What was the question? Ah yes, what is your club doing...?

Weymouth has instituted a booking system with an insistence that the limited groups engaged in specific aspects (the ground-level track, the raised 16mm-scale, road steam and maintenance / ground-keeping) keep apart from each other.

Once the maximum booking is reached the Secretary informs everyone, and anyone else who turns up on the day is likely to be asked to leave.

We have locked the club-room, barring congregating in there, and barring use of the kitchen facilities. The separate, small workshop is opened as it contains the toilet, with antiseptic dispensers just outside the loo as well as the normal soap and paper towels for the wash-basin within.

Our society has to be squeaky-clean legally as well as medically, because we are within a school's grounds also used by a public sports-centre. The Committee had to prepare a special pandemic risk-assessment to cover us, for the school's own H&S Manager although we are not a hazard to the school itself.

The change to allowing 6 to congregate did mean small working-groups could meet one day a week during the school Summer Holiday, by arrangement. Prior to that it was limited to just 2. These were engaged mainly in ground-keeping and track maintenance, and a few other small tasks.


H&S Management is one profession I don't envy at the moment, and in places like schools especially must carry an awful weight of responsibility well outside accustomed areas of expertise and experience.


PS. What on Earth is wrong with the phrase "family / social circle? If I make a bolted flange will its holes now have to occupy a pitch-bubble?

Manofkent12/09/2020 09:25:13
130 forum posts
29 photos

Thanks to everyone for a lively discussion.

My main concern was that the new regieme will not be advisory like at present, but law.

The Southern fed rules (Thanks Bazyle) are interesting and helpful.

If I read them correctly there is a suggestion that working parties are working on the club's business and could be exempt, while running days etc are part of our hobby and have to comply with the new rules.

At Tiverton we are operating a policy of booking attendance beforehand. Running days will be split into two parts, to allow two groups of 6 on any one day.

A note will be sent to all members to advise of the new rules. What we really want to avoid are the circumstances where we have to turn a member away.

Discussions are ongoing about working parties.


Graham Swales12/09/2020 12:25:01
33 forum posts

"If I read them correctly there is a suggestion that working on the club's business and could be exempt"

Sorry folks - H&S again! Every business must complete a documented Covid related risk assessment.

Not the answer you wanted I will accept but if you need any help, just ask.....


Rod Renshaw12/09/2020 16:49:50
230 forum posts
2 photos

Re the last 2 posts:

I got the impression John was speculating that being on a working party on "the business of the club" would count as "working" and therefore be exempt from the rule of 6.

Whereas Graham has ( I think) interpreted John's post as being about being exempt from the need for a H and S plan,

So they could both be correct?

Though if John would argue that his team were working and not at leisure, they would ( per Graham) need a H and S plan?


JA12/09/2020 17:14:42
1055 forum posts
54 photos
Posted by Rod Renshaw on 12/09/2020 16:49:50:

So they could both be correct?


Going to court could decide this. But you do not want to go there.


Edited By JA on 12/09/2020 17:15:18

Paul Kemp12/09/2020 18:40:10
585 forum posts
18 photos

Well it all seems pretty unclear to me! My interpretation is no more than 6 people can gather for any purpose outside work, school, weddings and funerals either inside or outside? That seems to be the impression given in the various media reports? I listened to an interview with a top London police officer who said it was impossible to enforce as how do you deal with multiple groups of 6 stood 2m or more apart? I listened to another regional police chief this morning who stated they do not have the resources to enforce it and would continue to prioritise violent assault, RTA's, burglary etc and they have no resource to do anything else!

There are lots of situations where it is as clear as mud; museums - no more than 6 inside? Pubs and Cafes as I understand can still trade - no more than 6 inside and 6 outside or 6 in total? Including the staff? Heritage railways, will they have to close again with no more than 6 on site? What about shops? If no more than 6 are allowed inside would a queue of more than 6 outside constitute a breach?

Going down the track either with or without "paperwork" is the least of your worries!


V8Eng12/09/2020 19:07:19
1507 forum posts
30 photos

The latest BBC explanation is here but I am not really sure how much it helps with the original question.

BBC Covid

pgk pgk12/09/2020 19:38:52
2015 forum posts
290 photos
Posted by Paul Kemp on 12/09/2020 18:40:10:

Well it all seems pretty unclear to me! My interpretation is no more than 6 people can gather for any purpose outside work, school, weddings and funerals either inside or outside? .....

In the case of pubs or restaurants it's supposed to be no more than 6 in a group and at least 2 meters between groups but that can be shortened if screens are fitted. With that understanding it ought to be perfectly OK to have a few individuals or groups less than 6 playing trains outdoors so long as they organise themselves such that each groups keeps at least 2m away from any other and each group is composed only of that group's 6-person normal 'bubble'. Reality for our hobby is that it's likely just to be groups of 1.

From the epidemiological viewpoint it's still stupid when, say, it's OK to have 2 6-up groups each end of a tiny pub snug with low ceilings, closed door and lit fire compared to a high ceilinged room with good extractor fans fitted or open doors and windows. But equally one needs some simplicity in the rules and economic reality. My own clinic used to have extractor facilities capable of 11 air changes per hour each room.. mostly to deal with possible smelly events because you also have to consider where the air is being pulled in from.

Only 6 people in a supermarket or museum would be absurd. I'm sure we've all queued at one recently... in a nice line 2m apart from each other


Paul Kemp13/09/2020 00:52:44
585 forum posts
18 photos

Well pgk essentially I don't disagree with you but the rules regarding pubs etc as I understand are guidance, the latest is law and it's incredibly weakly specified as evidenced by the different opinions on here! I have not seen any qualification to the basic sentence that says many groups of 6, 2m or more apart are excepted. In fact if you have a big enough venue I would think a clever barrister could argue you can have a wedding of 100 or more if there are no more than 6 in a group and they are at least 2m distant!


SillyOldDuffer13/09/2020 10:20:44
6651 forum posts
1495 photos
Posted by pgk pgk on 12/09/2020 19:38:52:
Posted by Paul Kemp on 12/09/2020 18:40:10:

Well it all seems pretty unclear to me! My interpretation is no more than 6 people can gather for any purpose outside work, school, weddings and funerals either inside or outside? .....


From the epidemiological viewpoint it's still stupid ...


Very true. Makes more sense when the two conflicting factors in play are taken into account:

  • Urgent need to restart the economy (lock down is costing us a fortune), and
  • Stopping the virus spreading out of control.

Earning a living requires people to return to normal but doing so risks spreading the virus. The counter-measures are probably about striking a balance between getting people back to work whilst keeping R₀ < 1.0. (R₀ less than one means the virus is dying back, greater than one means it is spreading.

I think the Guidelines & Law are intended to encourage people to mix more in situations where the economy benefits whilst discouraging everything else. People going to a restaurant is risky, but there's economic benefit (employment etc). The same group meeting in a private home or at a Loco Club takes the same risk of catching Covid, but there's no financial benefit. I believe the measures hope to stop the virus spreading by discouraging low-value mixing between people in favour of situations earning a bob or two.

Striking a balance between public safety and the need to earn a living is far from easy. Be wonderful to give everyone simple guidelines but the situation is more like a game of chess. Whilst good players have a strategy, the next move depends on what the other guy is doing, and sacrifices will be necessary. Time will tell whether the government is a 'good player' or not.

If COVID doesn't fall back naturally, next gambit is to slow it down by testing everybody and isolating those who have it. Even better, an effective vaccine that can be given to most of the population in a hurry. The virus won't survive once we're all immune. Mass testing may not be possible in the UK yet, and effective vaccines are still in the pipeline.

Good news in the UK is the number of serious cases hospitalised by the NHS has dropped dramatically. At one point all the alarms flashed red as the service approached overload, but they got past the crisis. There are more resources available to treat anyone who catches it now. At the same time distancing, masks and hand-washing etc have reduced the viral load. The body is good at dealing with small numbers but breathing in millions of Covid viruses when someone coughs directly in your face is liable to overwhelm the defences. Keeping your distance and taking a few simple precautions reduces the risk enormously. Not a problem for retired gents like me to dodge Covid, much harder for bus drivers!


Bazyle13/09/2020 11:07:07
5686 forum posts
208 photos

Nobody needs to run a loco 8 hours in one go. So you can have morning and afternoon sessions, 7 days a week, of 6 people. That's 84 people. Does your club really have that many members who are desperate to get to the track? I'm getting concerned that there seem to be people in charge of a steam engine that can't understand some very simple rules.

Paul Kemp13/09/2020 14:40:35
585 forum posts
18 photos

Well I am glad Bazyle thinks it's simple. However having read the blurb on the govt web site SOD is quite correct that there is no intent to interfere with activities supporting the economy (not that this has real relevance to an MES I would say) but the key to it is the word "socially" and the emphasis of a maximum of six in a group not mixing outside that group.

Dictionary definition of socially (from as that is the first that came up is; "adverb. in the friendly company of others; in a genial or gregarious manner: We met through mutual friends who gather socially several times a month. in a manner that relates to human society and its configuration as a community: Her art strives to be both beautifully evocative and socially responsible".

So to the OP I would say you can have as many people as you like on site in any number of groups between 1 and 6 that do not mix outside of that group and the group does not get within 2m of any other group or person. With the qualifications that running a steam locomotive is deemed a social activity and none of the attendee's act in an outwardly genial or gregarious nature!

Oitside that you only need to consider the attitude and zeal of any official that may happen along such as the police officer in London wishing to charge a bakery owner with criminal damage for chalking 2m lines on the pavement to assist queueing customers (heated interaction with the officer and shop owner / members of the public, later apologised for by superiors) or a jobsworth Council Official with similar attitudes.



Graham Swales13/09/2020 18:13:46
33 forum posts

One last time. What does your Covid specific risk assessment have to say?

If the answer is "we ain't got one" then I suggest your problems are greater than worrying about 6 and out!


blowlamp13/09/2020 19:29:08
1472 forum posts
97 photos
Posted by Graham Swales on 13/09/2020 18:13:46:

One last time. What does your Covid specific risk assessment have to say?

If the answer is "we ain't got one" then I suggest your problems are greater than worrying about 6 and out!


Do you mean with regard to wearing a mask? If so, you should be able to use the government risk assessment.

Remember: noyes disgust female<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>male


Graham Swales13/09/2020 19:51:28
33 forum posts

OK. I give up.

Bye folks!

Suggest a look see at the H&S Executive website would be a good idea.

But then it is "Elfin Safety" so who cares.......

Paul Kemp13/09/2020 20:59:03
585 forum posts
18 photos
Posted by Graham Swales on 13/09/2020 19:51:28:

OK. I give up.

Bye folks!

Suggest a look see at the H&S Executive website would be a good idea.

But then it is "Elfin Safety" so who cares.......

I heard you! But to a degree risk assessments are subjective according to the view of the person doing them. Your risk assesment won't stand up in court if you have said, it's open air, as long as everyone keeps 2m apart we can have as many as you like (according to the governing guidance) but if the law says you can't have more than 6 people on site, your risk assesment isn't worth toffee as any kind of defence! As it happens reading the actual text on the government site that would do nicely as you have multiple "groups" of one and they do not come closer to each other than 2m according to the other guidance you can't get better than that. There is a world of difference in identifying hazards and putting control measures in place and complying with the law! You are completely free to put greater restrictions in place than are reasonably required under the law but that's where Elfin safety loses credibility! It's easier to say there is a one in a million chance of this occurring so we will ban it all together than look at the risk and control it reasonably because the risk assessor doesn't want to take any responsibility for a judgement.

To me, if anything the OP was asking what effect or implications has the new law on their operations which when determined any risk assesment can be made or assessed against it.


Manofkent13/09/2020 22:07:34
130 forum posts
29 photos

Writing as the OP, I would say this has been a much wider discussion than I expected!

Risk Assessments are important, and we do have one for Covid drawn up a few months ago.

However, as Paul Kemp says above my main concern was to comply with the new rules, made especially vital as they are no longer guidelines but law.

There is room for manoeuvre as they say in the number of groups of 6 we could have on a working day, but simple is best so we have agreed that we will not have a more than 6 in attendance on any running or working day, but we have now designated 2 separate working days each week to allow more people to come.

On the risk assessment I think Graham does have a point. Getting only 6 to turn up is easier perhaps than keeping them 2 meters apart.


Weary14/09/2020 08:23:15
318 forum posts


Even in groups of six the individuals should stay 2 metres apart (or 1 metre with 'mitigation', which can be 'outside'  ), unless they come from the same household or 'support bubble'. The last sentence of your text suggests that these restrictions do not apply to 'groups of six' or fewer?

Gov't Core Document here. (Applies England)



Edited By Weary on 14/09/2020 08:24:38

Edited By Weary on 14/09/2020 08:33:40

All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of Model Engineer or Model Engineers' Workshop? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!

Find Model Engineer & Model Engineers' Workshop

Latest Forum Posts
Support Our Partners
Eccentric July 5 2018
Eccentric Engineering
Subscription Offer

Latest "For Sale" Ads
Latest "Wanted" Ads
Get In Touch!

Do you want to contact the Model Engineer and Model Engineers' Workshop team?

You can contact us by phone, mail or email about the magazines including becoming a contributor, submitting reader's letters or making queries about articles. You can also get in touch about this website, advertising or other general issues.

Click THIS LINK for full contact details.

For subscription issues please see THIS LINK.

Digital Back Issues

Social Media online

'Like' us on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
 Twitter Logo

Pin us on Pinterest