Since September 2021 cases of Covid-19 have been rising, and in January 2022 the number of people in hospital with Covid-19 are at the same level that they were in April 2020 (source: coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/healthcare).

Since the start of the pandemic Collective Encounters has taken a low-risk approach keeping our workforce, participants and audiences safe. Whilst our programme has continued throughout the pandemic, and in some cases thrived online, we recognise the creative value and joy of being with each other in the same space.

Over the next few weeks, we are working as a team to assess if and when it is safe to be in the same physical space. We are aware that those living with disabilities, long-term health conditions or other risk factors will be more cautious about returning and the plans we make will ensure that no one is left behind. We are also aware that those who have experienced the effects of long-term isolation deeply value the opportunity to connect and to work creatively with others in the same room.

Where and when it is deemed necessary to deliver workshops in a physical space or in a hybrid way, we will ensure all necessary precautions are undertaken. Precautions include the provision of LFT tests and highly protective masks for workers and participants, and the use of well-ventilated spaces. We will also continue to address the digital inclusion deficit by providing access to digital hardware, connectivity and skills for those with limited or no access to ensure they can continue or start to engage online.

We very much hope during 2022 we will see the restrictions Covid-19 has placed on our lives draw to a close and will issue a further update in February 2022.