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Coronavirus

Our position on the COVID-19 outbreak

Updates regarding the Coronavirus outbreak

Last updated 28th March at 15:15.

(Please click here to scroll down to a list of events that have been affected in response to Coronavirus risk.)

The RPS is conscious of the developments surrounding the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak and our duty of care to staff, volunteers, Members and the public.

Following the new recommendations made by the Prime Minister on 16th March, we are now undertaking significant steps to look after the well being of everyone we work with and society as a whole:

  • Our Bristol gallery is closed until further notice. We anticipate this will be until mid-April at the very least and will keep the situation under review.
  • We are cancelling all our workshops, talks and other events, in Bristol and elsewhere, between now and the end of June. 
  • The Distinctions Department are taking the outbreak of the Coronavirus very seriously and the impact it has on us all. To protect the health of our Panel Members, Staff and Applicants is our primary objective. We unfortunately have to request that until further notice, please do not send us your Prints, Book, CD or USB submissions. We hope that this will be a temporary request and will review the situation over the coming weeks. Please email all Booking forms for new applications directly to distinctions@rps.org. Again, please do not post your Booking forms to RPS House. To help us process your booking more effectively we request that you choose to make your payment via PayPal (details available on page 3 of the form).

  • All our volunteer-led events in the UK will also be cancelled to the end of April at least. Volunteers may wish to proactively cancel events beyond this point. This will include Distinctions Advisory Days.
  • All committee meetings will need to be conducted by video conference or cancelled between now and the end of April. In the meantime, we will schedule training and support for any volunteers wishing to conduct video conference meetings. Please contact the Volunteering Manager for further information.
  • We will maintain a skeleton staff at our Bristol HQ, with most staff working from home. We are making full use of cloud-based technology to assist us in maintaining effective working.
  • Our Bristol HQ will be open for deliveries and essential visitors during normal office hours. The building will be closed at weekends.
  • We are cancelling all corporate hire of our Bristol HQ until the end of April and will keep this under review.
  • We are monitoring the health and wellbeing of all our staff on a daily basis and doing every thing we can to support them during this period.

General comments

  1. This is a constantly evolving situation and we will continue to monitor and follow UK Government and Public Health England (PHE) guidance.
  2. We encourage all staff and visitors to follow this advice. Useful sources of advice may be found on the PHE website and the BBC website.
  3. We ask that anyone who has been in contact with someone with Coronavirus or has returned from an affected area or anyone with cold or flu symptoms should not come to our building or attend any meetings or events elsewhere but instead self-isolate as directed in the guidance linked above and the stay at home guidance here.
  4. We ask that all staff, visitors to our premises, or attendees at our events pay particular attention to the UK guidance and take care to observe recommended self-isolation hygiene procedures including regular, thorough handwashing.
  5. All washing facilities at our Bristol Headquarters are always stocked with adequate soap and that dryers are fully functioning.

Information for volunteers

  • Many RPS volunteers attend meetings and run events throughout the UK and internationally.
  • Our international volunteers should follow official guidance in their given jurisdiction.
  • Current UK guidance is that individuals should take personal responsibility for maintaining good hygiene, protecting themselves and others from the spread of the virus.
  • We recognise that some volunteers may also feel they are particularly vulnerable to the impact of the disease and may wish to take extra precautions, which we fully respect and support.
  • Volunteers should note that the operators of venues where you may be holding RPS events and activities are responsible for their duty of care to their visitors and guests. We urge our volunteers to check the hygiene provisions at their venues are adequate to allow people to follow the recommended personal hygiene practice, ie, good handwashing and drying provision on WCs.
  • For any unusual activities/locations, volunteers should conduct a simple risk assessment as they normally would, and include an assessment of Coronavirus risk as part of this.
  • If volunteers have any questions or concerns, they should in the first instance contact the RPS Volunteering Manager: 0117 316 4484, 07936 362365, volunteers@rps.org.

Events currently affected

We are cancelling all our workshops, talks and other events, in Bristol and elsewhere, between now and the end of April. We anticipate we will publish further decisions about May and beyond at the end of March.

All our volunteer-led events in the UK will also be cancelled to the end of April at least. Volunteers may wish to proactively cancel events beyond this point. This will include Distinctions Advisory Days.

Please see above for more information on our closure.

March

All events are cancelled or postponed in March

April

All events are cancelled or postponed in April

May

All events are cancelled or postponed in May

June

All events are cancelled or postponed in June

July

Peterborough Cathedral Tower Tour

August