The UK government has issued guidance on its approach to managing the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, which is relevant to EMS as a group that meets socially in predesignated spaces.
The government advises that those over the age of 70, regardless of underlying medical conditions, and those under 70 with underlying medical conditions be stringent in following its suggested social distancing measures. EMS no doubt has members that fall into either category. The suggested measures are:
- to avoid contact with anybody who is displaying potential symptoms of COVID-19, such as a cough or high temperature;
- to avoid non-essential use of public transport and varying travel times to avoid rushes;
- to avoid large gatherings or gatherings in smaller public spaces;
- to avoid gatherings with friends and family, instead utilising technology to stay in touch; and
- to use telephone services to contact healthcare professionals.
Measures 3 and 4 are particularly relevant to EMS as a group that meets socially to enjoy astronomy together. We are primarily an online group with a great means of staying in touch and continuing to share in our passion for astronomy, without the need to travel or attend a physical location.
We are temporarily locking the areas of the website used for arranging observing sessions. Members must not arrange meetings at either dark site until EMS Staff have agreed that it is safe and sensible to resume them. We appreciate this may be disappointing, but these are extraordinary times and we consider that our individual and collective well-being is more important than the temporary loss of use of our dark sites.
Thank you for your understanding.
Members will be able to dismiss the red announcement banner in one week.