Currently Covid infections are spreading through the younger population and are also increasingly infecting people who have had both vaccinations.
The NYA moved to Green on 6th Sept 2021, Youth Groups can go abroad as long as they follow the Commonwealth office rules. Version 8 of their guidance was produced today.
The guidance in Wales was updated on 7th August, so the Groups based in Wales will comply with the same rules that the Association are following.
2. The NYA recommends the following measures are maintained where possible so must be included. If followed the meeting place is classed as Covid responsible. It is envisaged that these will be removed after September 2021.
a) GSMs should be aware of members who are clinically vulnerable or clinically extremely vulnerable and should prepare their risk assessment accordingly.
b) As the risk of transmission is lower outdoors, activities should take place outdoors whenever possible.
c) All young people, leaders and visitors should wash their hands and use hand sanitiser at regular intervals, including on arrival and departure.
d) Shared spaces such as sports halls, kitchens, etc. must be deep cleaned thoroughly between use if different groups are to use them on the same day (sequentially).
e) Avoid the use of objects which have been handled by others without cleaning first (balls, pens, food dispensing equipment etc).
f) Enhanced regular cleaning of commonly used surfaces, such as equipment and door handles, should be ensured.
3. A Covid Risk assessment must be passed by the GSM for every Section meeting in a Group. Covid Risk assessments mu.st make sure that the risk to the leaders, young people and the wider community can be safely managed.
4. Activities: camping/residential activities are allowed for all sections; separate guidance is attached to the end of this announcement.
a) Day trips are allowed but under the following restrictions. Any activity that is away from the location of your start back risk assessment is classed as a trip, the activity must start and finish the same day.
b) A Day away permit must be applied for.
c) A Covid risk assessment must be carried out for the trip, this must be detailed and include the travel to and from, plus any restrictions at the place being visited. This also applies to a hike. The Risk assessment must be sent to your AC for approval before the activity can take place.
d) All activities should be supervised directly where possible.
e) Remember, the insurance does not cover cancellation for Covid so if a cost is incurred and the event cancelled, the Group is out of pocket as the B-PSA will not cover the cost.
5. There is now no limit on the size of a group, but you must ensure that you have the correct number of leaders for the ages of children attending each section meeting (note: this is a smaller ratio if you are working outside). Please use the current Supervision document if unsure.
6. Face Masks and social distancing: The BPSA insists on the use of facemasks for all Scouts, Senior Scouts and anybody over 18 who are working closely together or indoors. They protect others from someone who is infected (asymptomatic), indoors people can be seen and supervised more safely than working outdoors at night (in the dark people naturally move together).
To help mitigate these changes the following are considered best practice:
a) Work outdoors where possible during daylight.
b) Keep the activity time as short as possible.
c) Where possible using activities where maintaining distancing is simpler.
d) Avoid any activities which risk sustained close contact or ‘huddles’ of young people.
e) Reducing the number of people each person has contact with (so each person works with only a few others).
f) Increasing the frequency of hand washing and surface cleaning
7. These rules are not to hinder meetings but are to help keep our members and their communities safe. Currently the Delta strain of the virus affecting the UK, it is more transmittable than previous ones. This may result in areas having to reintroduce more severe restrictions, so please be aware that we may have to change the way we meet at short notice.
8. In August the Government announced that if a person has had two vaccinations or is under 18, if a close contact ie a person in their house tests positive, they do not have to isolate as long as they undertake daily lateral flow tests. The BPSA feel that this could expose leaders and other members of the Group to increased risk. Therefore, we are going to use our guidance, that if a close contact has tested positive, the member cannot attend until the 10 day isolation period is over.
9. Remember if you or your leaders do not feel safe, you do not have to return to face to face meetings. Please ask for advice via your AC if you need help to get back to face to face Scouting.
Keep safe and happy Scouting,
it’s getting better (almost there)!
The Covid team
References for England
NYA COVID-19 Guidance – NYA - Protective measures for holiday or after-school clubs and other out-of-school settings for children during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
For England and Wales:
For Wales: Coronavirus (COVID-19) | Topic | GOV.WALES
CAMPING / RESIDENTIAL GUIDANCE COVID-19
The B-PSA have updated their guidance related to camping and residential activities, as of 19 July 2021, the following must be in place:
1. If using a third-party provider ie bunk house, campsite etc, the Group must follow the working safely Covid -19 guidance produced by the provider, this must be read during the planning phase, as well as the BPSA Covid-19 guidance.
2. Prior to the event a detailed covid risk assessment must be carried out for the whole activity including transport to, from and during the activity and sent via the camp permit system; the AC will decide if it is safe to carry out the residential activity.
3. As part of the covid risk assessment a contingency plan covering the points below must be incorporated:
a. Changes in government guidance
b. A child/ staff member testing positive
c. A child/ staff member needing to self-isolate due to being identified as a close contact.
d. A child / staff member becoming symptomatic during the visit.
4. The disclaimer on the camp permit must be ticked to say that you accept that the B-PSA can cancel the permit at short notice if the circumstances dictate.
5. All people attending the overnight activity must provide a negative lateral flow test the day the activity starts. On a longer residential activity, they must do another test after 48 hours, then 72 hours, this includes any leaders present and anybody attending for any part of the activity.
6. If someone tests positive during the activity, there must be a plan in place to get the infected person and people self-isolating home safely. If a leader is affected then, if not enough leaders present the activity must cease immediately with everyone in the Group including Leaders, returning home.
7. Accommodation must be suitable for the numbers taking part with good ventilation. If sleeping in a dormitory or tent the maximum number is 6, with the doors left unfastened to ensure maximum ventilation. Tents must be used at less than maximum capacity, eg 4 in an Icelandic or 2 in a 4 man tent. 2 in a 2 man tent is not allowed unless they are siblings. Head to toe sleeping is advised to keep the distance between heads as far apart as possible.
8. Sleeping on their own in a tent is not advised for younger/inexperienced Scouts. Bivouacs or hammocks can be used if they are spread out, again be aware of younger/inexperienced Scouts being on their own.
9. Toilets and handwashing areas must be cleaned regularly if using toilet tents, they must be ventilated as much as possible.
10.Dining areas will be required to be cleaned regularly. There is no sharing of cutlery, mugs, plates, or tea towels between people.