Some positive news for a Monday and the start of a new month. Following the announcement from the National Youth Agency (NYA), we can confirm that Scouting in England will be moving back to the Amber readiness level from 29 March.
- From 29 March, we will move to Amber with Groups allowed to meet outdoors in group sizes of 15 plus Leaders (5 maximum).
- From 12 April, both outdoors and indoors meetings will be allowed in group sizes of 15 plus Leaders (5 maximum).
- From 12 April, you’ll be allowed to take part in non-residential day trips and visits.
We’re still working with the Government on longer term plans for camping and larger group sizes but we expect these to be introduced steadily throughout the summer. We’ll also provide an update in tomorrow’s membership email around international travel.
As with the roadmap, all target dates are subject to the vaccination programme continuing at the same rate and the rate of infections reducing across the country.
It’s really important that social distancing and other COVID-19 safe measures are adhered to whilst we still have restrictions. We always need to consider the risks as we’re dealing with different strains of the virus and the majority of people at our meetings will not have been vaccinated yet. Outdoor meetings are being relaxed initially due to the lower risk of transmission outdoors, and we would recommend meeting outdoors where you can in the spring and summer months.
Taking part in Scouts is voluntary for all leaders and young people and nobody should be pressured to return to face-to-face meetings before they are comfortable doing so. We hope that by April every young person is able to take part in Scouting provision whether that be online or face-to-face.
In order to make it easier for Leaders to restart, we have simplified the guidance on equipment sharing and we have clarified how our adult supervision rules apply when operating multiple limited size groups close together. The status of youth group camping in the UK remains under review in each nation and we will update the guidance for England as soon as we have news. You can read full guidance on the ‘Getting back together safely’ pages.
If Groups have had an amber risk assessment approved this will still be valid, but we’d encourage them to review their risk assessment before meeting again. There is no requirement to resubmit the risk assessment to Districts for approval unless they’re making a big change to the way they plan to operate. For those Groups who’ve not yet had an Amber risk assessment approved, we would encourage you to reach out and provide support if they need it.
Don’t forget that it’s also a requirement for all member’s to be up-to-date with their mandatory safety and safeguarding training before they return to face-to-face activity. Now is a great time to encourage members to get ahead with this. It’s easy to complete and can be done online.
We’ll be sharing this update in tomorrow’s all members’ email, along with the update on international travel.
Thank you for the part you’ve played to help make sure we’ve been able to continue Scouting in these strange times. Although there is still a lot to work out over the coming months, we can now see light at the end of the tunnel and the start of a positive future for Scouts and young people across the country.