Meeting with each other is a key part of recovery, and, in our tradition, every group is autonomous as it makes decisions about how to support each other best. However, as COVID-19 continues, the Sydney and Victorian Intergroups, which run this site, strongly suggests that all members and meetings take note of the Australian Government health updates here. We have many ZOOM, Skype and phone meetings as well as face-to-face meetings.
Face-to-face meetings may consider switching to Skype or Zoom service using a modified meeting script.
Regulations and requirements vary by state, municipality and venue. Please check your exact local requirements, which may change over time. Stay at home if you don’t feel well.
Face-to-face meetings are encouraged to:
- Space chairs so that each person sits one metre apart
- Use the following statement at the start of each meeting:
- “To help protect members from the spread of the coronavirus we encourage members to wash their hands with soap and water in the bathrooms before the meeting or take advantage of the hand sanitiser provided. Please sit at least one metre apart from each other, and if you sneeze, please do so either into your inside-elbow or into a tissue.
- “During the closing prayer, at the end of the meeting, please DO NOT hold hands. When greeting one another, please avoid shaking hands or hugging. You may wish to use elbow bumps or namaste instead.
- “Members who are unwell should stay at home. There are links to online and telephone meetings on the SLAA Australia website.”
Making the decision to return to face-to-face meetings
One meeting’s Group Conscience delayed returning to face-face-face meetings because of the onerous requirements prescribed by the local authorities. It was too small a meeting, with too few people prepared to do face to face service, to comply with current COVID-safe requirements. When enough members are prepared to do these roles, or when regulations change, the decision will be reviewed.
Some community venues are apparently facing fines arising from random inspections by authorities. Some venues have advised meetings that they are liable for fines if regulations are breached.
Meetings which have both a face-to-face and a virtual component are called Hybrid Meetings.
Depending on local requirements, your meeting may need these supplies:
- cleaning products i.e. high alcohol wipes/metho & sponges (cleaning to kills COVID-19 is kinda complex, see: https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/covid-19-information-workplaces/cleaning-prevent-spread-covid-19
- large box of disposable gloves
- plenty of hand sanitizer
7th Tradition Options
- Don’t pass the collection basket, leave it in the middle
- large Plastic money bags
- Treasurer/collecting 7th tradition immediately becomes (from a risk mitigation point of view) a risky role. This person will need to wear gloves and wash hands thoroughly.
- Provide group Bank Account details for direct deposits, encouraging members to make recurring weekly or monthly donations
Your meeting may need statements like this in its meeting script.
It is a requirement to attend this meeting that you:
- go home immediately if you have even mild flu-like symptoms or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive or if you have been in a COVID hotspot
- provide name & contact details for contact tracing/ scan the QR code upon entry
- maintain physical distancing (1.5m from other members) in all parts of the venue
- wash your hands with soap and water before and after the meeting
- do not share food and/or drink
- don’t go in the kitchen if someone is already in there (only 1 person allowed at a time)
- agree to wipe down your chair with wipes provided before you put it away
- If you are unable to meet these conditions of entry, we invite you to instead participate in this meeting by Zoom (see the details on SLAA website“
- Don’t put out literature.
- If someone wants it they can ask for something specific, or buy it from the website.
- Promote digital version of SLAA Basic Text
- Scan a QR code
- One member records attendance in the attendance book
- Some venue or authorities may require contact details for attendees
Being COVID-safe creates new service responsibilities, additional to the traditional roles. There may be a need for new service positions. Depending on the size of your group, these may be separate positions or combined:
- Greeter – to record names & contact details and keep a headcount, then turn people away if the capacity is exceeded
- Cleaner/s – to ensure chairs, high-touch hard surfaces, door handles and light switches are cleaned before and after the meeting
- Tech officer/s to run Zoom and laptop or tablet.
COVID-Safe Plan for your meeting
Your meeting may be required by your venue to have a COVID-Safe plan for your meeting that is available to all attendees
- Ensure COVID guidelines are given to attendees digitally or in hard copy
- Your meeting may be required to contact relevant authorities if anyone becomes infected or goes into quarantine.
- Contact tracing forms may be required by some authorities.
Given the amount to take in here, your group may take time before it is ready to return to face-to-face meetings. Attempting to do everything with limited service roles on-site seems like a recipe for resentments!