The UK Hackspace Foundation would like to provide some guidance to hackspaces in the UK on the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.
We aim to update this guidance frequently as the situation progresses. This document was last updated on 7 January 2021.
We highly recommend that spaces close completely during periods of national lockdown, when people are advised to stay at home. If there are businesses who operate from your space, you may consider opening to them only. However, it is unlikely that travelling to a hackspace to carry out hobby projects would be “reasonable excuse” under lockdown regulations.
Spaces should also consider whether the use of machine tools is advisable when health services are under a very high degree of demand from COVID-19.
Government guidance which we consider particularly applicable to hackspaces includes:
- England: Guidance for the safe use of multi-purpose community facilities
- Scotland: Guidance for multi-purpose community facilities
Rapid Manufacturing of Medical Equipment
We are aware of many projects to 3D-print, or otherwise fabricate, medical equipment which is in short supply. We do not discourage hackspaces from doing this, but they should thoroughly evaluate the risks and benefits of doing so. This should include:
- Verifying that there is a genuine local medical need for such items, and ensuring that they are appropriate for this need.
- Allowing access to hackspaces only for this purpose, and considering the risk posed by people travelling on public transport.
- Restricting the number of people physically present to an absolute minimum; design work can be done remotely.
- Ensuring that those people physically present are at a low risk of serious complications from COVID-19.
More information on this can be found here:
The UK Hackspace Foundation will keep a close eye on the situation and we are prepared to provide funding to support spaces if it becomes necessary. Make sure you keep an eye on any government support which may be available. Please get in touch at email@example.com if you are under undue financial pressure, and we’ll see if we can help.