Club Update

Coronavirus / Covid 19 Virus
23rd June 2020

 

This is an abridged version of an email letter first published to Members on 23rd June.
Members should contact the Secretary on sec@orientalclub.org.uk if they would like to have the original version re-sent to them.


The Secretary has written in various e-newsletters of the ongoing progress that the Club’s Operational Team has been making to re-open the Club as soon as it is permitted and safe to do so.
 
The Secretary has also previously mentioned the need to provide an appropriate staffing structure to enable this.  I now share with you the Club’s ‘roadmap’ to re-opening and the projected measures for a likely period of up to one year.  These will enable us to adapt to the new circumstances over the coming months.  

Covid Secure 
The Club is exceeding all Government guidelines and, following the announcements from the Government this evening, I am now able to confirm that the Club will re-open to all Members and Guests on Saturday 4th July at noon.   There will be new ways of working for the Staff Team and a modified style of using the Club for Members and Guests.  I summarise the key points below:
 
Members, Visitors, Staff and Contractors must not visit the Club if they have had Coronavirus symptoms in the previous seven days.  If any member of their household shows symptoms, they must not visit the Club for fourteen days.
 
The Club will have strict occupancy limits to ensure that it complies with Government Social Distancing policies.  Therefore, Members should make reservations in advance where possible by contacting reservations@orientalclub.org.uk.  We do not envisage this being too onerous.  

On arrival at the Club, everyone will be required to use hand sanitiser (alcohol-free sanitiser is available on request).
 
Clear protective barriers will be used in high contact areas such as the Reception Desk and the Bars.
 
The Club will implement Social Distancing policies on the terms specified by the Government. These must be adhered to throughout the Club when socialising or meeting with people from other households. We trust our Members and their Guests to use their common sense when following these rules. 

Staff Team members may choose to and, in some cases, may be required to wear Face Coverings, Masks, Visors and other PPE depending upon their roles and location.
 
Members may wear Face Coverings if they choose to and are encouraged to do so at potential ‘pinch points’ around the Club, including the Cloakroom Facilities.  Oriental Club Colours Face Coverings are available to purchase from Reception.
 
Members are requested not to visit the Secretariat or the Accounts Office in person. Instead, a Staff Team member from one of those Offices will come to Reception, or a meeting may be arranged in another room if necessary.
 
Increasingly, much of the Club’s administration will be carried out, at least in part, by Staff Team members working from home.
 
New procedures will be in place for the service of food and drinks.  All service will be to tables with modified service styles and a slightly simplified menu and ordering system for the time being.
 
A one-way system will operate on the Ground Floor, flowing clockwise from the Entrance, through Reception to the Gentlemen’s and Ladies’ Cloakrooms and back through the Staircase Hall.  Please observe this new convention.
 
Where possible, Members are requested to use the Lifts only if necessary and then only to go up.  Please use the stairs were possible, particularly to travel down the building.  Please do not enter an occupied lift.
 
Regular cleaning and sanitising of all Principal Areas and ‘touch points’ will be carried out.
 
Physical Newspapers, Magazines and Periodicals will not be provided, but Members will have access to the electronic versions for use on their own devices at the Club or elsewhere.
 
Changes to Provision of Services and Relevant By-Laws for a Trial Period  
The Committee has sanctioned the following changes:
 
A simple Room Service offer will be available from Breakfast through to early evenings for Residents staying in bedrooms.
 
Frozen Curry Meals will be available for Members to take home and a temperature-controlled Delivery Service is being developed for both food and wine. 
 
The Club already offers a Members' Catering Service for Private Dinner Parties and Events that take place outside of the Club.  

In-person Club Events will be re-introduced as soon as practicable, and when Government Policy allows.  The increasingly popular On-line Events Programme will continue to evolve in frequency and variety – if you have yet to experience one of these, I would encourage you to do so.  Many of the Events provided to date have attracted nearly one hundred Members each time.

 
The Dining Room will be open for Lunch and Dinner on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays for the time being.  The ‘Monday Wine’ Offer will be available each day throughout the Club until further notice. 
 
The Members’ Bar will be open for pre-lunch and pre-dinner drinks service on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays for the time being.  At all other times, this will function as an additional sitting / reading space.
 
The CLH and Courtyard will be open Monday to Sunday for Breakfast, and from Monday to Saturday for All-Day Dining (12.00 pm to 3.00 pm and 4.00 pm to 9.00 pm).  There will be a 10% discount on all food orders between 2.00 pm and 7.00 pm).  Breakfast must be pre-ordered the night before, as Buffets will not be provided and there will be fewer tables in the CLH Bar.
 
Private Dining will still be possible, although Social Distancing will reduce capacities.  The Social Distancing Guidelines currently allow for fourteen persons in the Library, and forty in the Dining Room (available for Private Dining use from Friday to Monday).  There will be no Facility Fees for Private Dining for as long as Social Distancing Measures are in place. 
 
The First Floor Principal Rooms have been re-organised as follows: 
Business Room – Additional facilities including Plug and Play LCD Monitors for connecting your own Laptops and High Speed LAN, for a high-quality business user experience.
 
Board Room – Video Conference Hub (Fully Equipped Plug and Play) for up to six persons who are physically present.
 
Main Smoking Room - Video Conference Hub (Fully Equipped Plug and Play) for up to sixteen persons physically present.

Small Smoking Room – Leisure or Business use, or as a break-out facility for the Main Smoking Room.

Main Drawing Room – Dedicated Business Lounge with Power Points and Social Distancing Screening – capacity up to sixteen persons on individual tables – Monday to Friday 7.00 am to 6.00 pm; Evenings and Weekends Social Use Only.  Occasional Evening and Weekend Private Dining for up to sixteen persons.

Small Drawing Room – dedicated to Social and Leisure use – no Business permitted. Formal Dress Code Monday to Friday. 

'Home Working' Offices – Subject to availability, Bedrooms with Desks may be hired for Day Use for Members wishing to work or hold private appointments at the Club.
 
International Arrivals
In most cases, it is very impractical for Members to quarantine at the Club for fourteen days after arriving in the UK, but we are making three of the Suite / Junior Suites available to Members requiring this facility. We will be required to insist that all Government Guidelines are adhered to.  This may include the wearing of PPE on arrival and other restrictions which are also for the protection of fellow Members and Staff Team members.  Room Service meals will, of course, be provided.

There will be further updates in the weeks and months ahead regarding the nuanced decisions and experiences involved in re-opening the Club.  There will also be updates on the AGM as well as the Subscription Strategy for 2021 and also on the BDP.  I will sign off by thanking you for your support and wishing you all the very best of health, and I look forward to welcoming you back to the Club from the 4th July.

Best wishes,
John Martin
Club Chairman