It information below represents and attempt to cash out the implications of the mid-February ‘roadmap’ for Winchelsea community activities 

Coming out of lockdown?

The earliest the New Hall will be allowed to re-open is mid-April.  Once that happens we must assume that numbers allowed in will be limited and there will still be rules about masks as there were last summer, but as yet there is no official guidance.  The management committee will be working out what can happen locally when the time comes.

Government guidance for the mid-May step says,  ‘… indoor gatherings or events, organised by a charity, public body or similar organisation, can be organised’.

St Thomas’ is already open, but only for public worship and private prayer.  Concerts and other group events are not allowed and presumably the earliest they will be allowed is mid-April, or perhaps even mid-May.

For as long as distancing continues, the Court Hall will be too small for groups to use.  The ‘roadmap’ specifies that museums can’t open until mid-May at the earliest.

So, nothing changes for a while yet.

Roadmap for Gardeners

It’s clear from the roadmap that the April Spring Show cannot go ahead.  Even if the New Hall has re-opened, rules on numbers and distancing will make a big event like this unmanageable.

Word comes from the National Garden Scheme that after the hoped-for relaxation of rules in April, admission tickets must be booked for timed slots, which will be impossible for a group of gardens like ours to manage. This is what prevented our June 2020 opening.  So, no NGS garden opening in Winchelsea in April.  We hope for better things in June when the main opening is due to take place.  An opening for St Michael’s Hospice in July should be safe if the withdrawal of Covid restrictions goes as well as everyone hopes.