This information was last was reviewed and updated – 12th January 2020
Next anticipated update – 31st January 2021*
*this is subject to change as the situation evolves

As of the 20th December 2020 Scouting in Wales is operating under the Red readiness level. This means no face to face activities may occur, indoors or outdoors. Digital programme delivery is permitted.

Questions while operating in Red readiness level
Can any face to face activites take place, including adult meetings, take place while in the Red readiness level?

No. Face to face activities, for any Scouting purpose, are not permitted.

Can we hire our hall out to a non-Scouting activity while Wales is in tier 4 and Scouting is in the Red readiness level?

Tier 4 states that community facilities must close (including Scout halls) unless the activity being undertaken meets the exemption criteria for public service, childcare or support groups. Please check up to date Welsh Government guidelines for clarity when making a descision.

If an activity is exempt then it is acceptable for a Group Exec to allow a Scout hall to be used even if it is unable to be used for Scouting purposes.

The FAQs below relate to Amber and Yellow readiness levels only.

Risk Assessments / Readiness Levels
Do I need to do an Amber and a Yellow risk assessment, even if we’re not currently meeting outside and are going to restart indoors?

If you don’t have an Amber risk assessment then your Yellow risk assessment must include reference to any outdoor elements of your Programme that may take place.

As we may be moving back and forwards through the levels it would be a good idea to do both an Amber and a Yellow risk assessment so you’re prepared for each of those options.

Do we need a risk assessment for each outdoor venue?

Try to think ahead about all of the outdoor venues you might be using and include them in your Amber risk assessment.  If you then go to another outdoor venue that’s not already in your Amber risk assessment you will need to submit a new risk assessment

Can all sections be approved for a readiness level on the same risk assessment?

Yes. A Group Scout Leader could write the Group’s Risk Assessment in conjunction with the  Leaders of each section. It is then presented to, and approved by, the Executive Committee and noted in their meeting minutes that it was approved, it is then sent to the Approver within the District or Area.

A good place to start for general Risk Assessment information is this HQ video

 

Local Lockdowns, Self-Isolation and crossing the England / Wales border
What happens if we have a young person in our section who goes to a school where there is a positive case of COVID?

If that young person is required to self-isolate they will be told by the school / Test, Trace and Protect system.  If they’re not told to then they are free to attend Scouts (though they may have been advised to reduce their social contact by 40-60%)

If a young person has a sibling at home who is self-isolating can they attend Scouting.

Yes, if nobody in the household is showing symptoms (i.e. the sibling is self-isolating because they’ve been asked to via Test, Trace and Protect not because they are symptomatic).  If anybody in the household becomes symptomatic they should follow the government guidelines.

If we have a positive case of COVID in our Scout Group will all leaders and young people have to self isolate, do I need to tell parents?

Please report this to the Test, Trace and Protect  (TTP) system and follow their guidance. It the responsiblity of TTP to trace contacts of a person that test positive, please follow their advice and provide a list of Scouting session attendees as appropriate.

Can young people or leaders cross the border from England to take part in Scouting?

Both adults and young people are permitted to cross the border from England to Wales for the purposes of attending a Scouting session or undertaking volunteering at a Scouting session. This does not apply for social meetings with other Scouts members.

 

Buildings and Third Party Users
An organisation that wants to hire our hall is refusing to wear masks or don’t want to socially distance – should I allow them to rent the building?

There are very clear Government guidelines that must be adhered to when using indoor and outdoor spaces.  If they are not prepared to follow the guidelines then they should not be allowed to use your hall.

Overall, It is up to the Exec whether or not they open the building and whether they rent it.

QR codes. Do I have to have one for my building and does it cover all sections and rooms?

It is good practice to generate a QR code but it doesn’t replace keeping a register of all attendees (young people and adults).

QR codes are static and building specific.  One code covers all people using the hall and all rooms within the hall.

We own our hall but are not currently using it.  A third party usually hire our hall and want to go back inside – it seems like a huge amount of work to get the hall ready and do the risk assessment and get cleaning and checklists in place if we’re not going to be using it ourselves.  Do we have to allow them to use the hall?

The Scout Executive Committee are responsible for the hall and can make the decision about whether or not the hall can be used by third parties – they are under no obligation to open up their hall and can ask regular hall users to temporarily find a new venue.

I rent a hall in the community but they haven’t given me any guidelines and/or they haven’t done a COVID risk assessment, can I still use the hall?  Do I have to do a COVID Assessment for the hall?

You must see their COVID risk assessment and discuss your hire agreement.  This will form part of your Yellow risk assessment.

 

PPE / Equipment
Does a visor count or does it have to be a face mask?

A visor counts, that’s why it says ‘face covering’ in the guidance, not specifically a face mask

Where can I get PPE / sanitizer from?

ScoutsCymru have identified a supplier that has offered a good price called however local suppliers may be cheaper so always check prices.  You can use any supplier.

 

Running your Section
What are the rules on social distancing?

Adults and young people aged 11 and over must socially distance when indoors. Social distancing of young people aged under 11 when indoors should be encouraged but is not essential.

What are the rules on face coverings?

Adults and young people aged 11 and over must wear a face covering when indoors.

How many adults and young people can attend a section meeting?

When considering the advice below please remember that a session operating in safe and coronavirus secure way is paramount. The capacity of a particular venue as well as the activity being undertaken must be considered in determining the appropriate number of young people and adults present.

For Beavers and Cubs

There is no coronavirus-specific limit to the number of young people that can meet indoors or outdoors. There is no limit to the number of adults delivering the session but they must socially distance and wear a face covering.

For Scouts and Explorers

A maximum of 15 young people can attend an indoor session – they must socially distance and wear a face covering.

A maximum of 30 young people can attend an outdoor session.

Adults involved in these sessions being delivered are not included in these totals.

How do I work out the number of Scouts / Explorers / Leaders my hall can safely accomodate?

There are 4 equations but each gives you a different outcome, therefore you are not expected to use a specific calculation, rather use your common sense.  Ensure you allow social distancing (but you can pass through someone else 2m).

Can we sing Christmas carols this year?

When planning please consider that singing, chanting and shouting are all considered to be high risk activities, and should therefore be avoided.

Young Leaders
Can they attend more than one section or one section and their Explorer unit in the same week?

No, ideally not.  Welsh Government guidance identifies that secondary school age children are likely to need to reduce overall daily contacts by 40 to 60 per cent to maintain COVID-19 security (the guidance comes from the Welsh Government Youth Work Guidance Document, Annex B – Supporting Scientific Information).

Can leaders attend several section meetings on the same night?

Yes, the rules have been relaxed on this.  Running multiple sections on the same evening is acceptable even when it is the same adults leading both sessions.  Adults must wear face coverings and adhere to social distancing requirements.

Ensuring drop off and pick up times are separated is a good idea.

The time between each section meeting should also be used to clean regular touch points in the venue in line with this guidance.

Can more than one section meet on the same night?

Yes, see above

Some of our young people have 1 to 1 support, is this still allowed?

Carers are exempt from distancing from the child  / adult they care for and from the numbers of people allowed to meet

Miscellaneous 
My GSL / DC / AC says I have to take everyone’s temperature, but the Scouting guidelines say this isn’t necessary.  What should I do?

You are not required to take temperatures.  We are not providing training on this and thermometers require regular calibration.  There are also lots of reasons that young people may have a raised temperature such as regular coughs and colds or exercise.

If your risk assessment is being blocked because of this issue then go up the chain or contact ScoutsCymru

AGM:  Do we need one? Can we have it online?

If you need to do it face to face but currently can’t then you can delay it but you need to notify the Charity Commission if you’re registered with it (or notify your DC if you’re not registered)

See more in POR Chapter 3, 23

Is Girl Guiding following the same approach?

Girl Guiding is following the Youth Framework (as are we) but the framework does put the onus back on each organization to develop their own levels etc.