Outdoor and indoor meetings are allowed in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
We’re following advice and guidance from government and Public Health England and from Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and the Crown dependencies. We're also working with the National Youth Agency and the wider youth sector to keep up to date with the latest information for youth groups.
From 17 May 2021, lockdown restrictions in England are changing. We’ve outlined below what guiding activity is allowed, based on government and National Youth Agency guidance, and what you'll need to do to run meetings and activities safely.
Remember, you’ll need a risk assessment for outdoor and indoor activities and these must be signed off by a commissioner. Whether you’re meeting indoors or outdoors, you must follow government guidelines and stay Covid-secure.
Outdoor meetings are allowed. You can go inside to use the loo, wash hands or get a drink. You should follow all Covid-secure measures, including social distancing, frequent hand washing and cleaning.
Group size: There’s no limit on the number of young people who can attend outdoor meetings. This includes 18-year-old Rangers.
Indoor meetings are allowed. Guides, Rangers and all adults should wear face coverings when going inside. You should follow all Covid-secure measures, including social distancing, face coverings, frequent hand washing and cleaning.
Group size: There are no limits to the number of under 18s allowed to meet indoors. You should be mindful of the space available. Make sure it’s Covid-secure and has room for social distancing. If you're meeting in a large group, NYA recommend splitting into smaller bubbles inside the meeting place.
Indoor or outdoor meetings should not take place in private houses or gardens.
Volunteer numbers: There's no limit on the number of volunteers who can attend a meeting. You should take a sensible approach based on usual considerations such as ratios and the type of activity. Use your risk assessment to work out how many volunteers you need to run the meeting safely. Leaders can attend consecutive meetings in the same venue or location. Spaces must be thoroughly cleaned between meetings. If groups are meeting at the same time, in separate rooms or areas, then they can share a first aider.
Day trips are allowed, including DofE expeditions. Trips should be local, so they can easily be completed in a day. You can use any form of transport, so long as it's done in a Covid-secure way. You’ll need to check and follow the requirements of the location you are travelling to.
Before planning, consider if a trip is necessary or if the objective can be achieved in some other way. You’ll need to complete a risk assessment as part of the planning process.
Adult meetings and trainings can go ahead but must follow government guidance around the number of adults allowed to meet outdoors and indoors.
Residential trips are allowed if you follow this guidance. These conditions apply throughout the youth sector, regardless of what education bubbles your young members may be in.
International travel is not allowed. This may be allowed to some countries from 21 June but we don’t know what the restrictions and guidance will be. So, we advise you do not start planning any trips abroad until we have more information. Do not make any payments, like deposits, until after 21 June.
Risk assessments: To return to guiding, either face-to-face or online, you must complete a risk assessment before your meeting. For any face-to-face meetings, whether indoor or outdoor, your local commissioner needs to sign off your risk assessment. To complete a risk assessment for an in-person unit meeting, make sure to include:
Face coverings: You need to wear face coverings for indoor meetings. They are not needed outdoors unless you cannot keep to the two metre social distancing requirement.
At indoor meetings, face coverings should be worn by Guides, Rangers and volunteers. Rainbows and Brownies do not need to wear them. If someone cannot wear a face mask, a visor or face shield can be worn, but be aware that these do not offer as much protection as a mask. Any visor or shield must cover the nose and mouth. Medical grade PPE is not needed. Find out about who's exempt from wearing face coverings.
Social distancing requirements: Where possible, stay two metres (three steps) away from others, indoors and outdoors. Social distancing should be maintained during all activities. Check out our suggestions for adapting the programme around social distancing and other Covid-secure measures.
Toilets and hand washing: Everyone should wash their hands or use hand sanitiser when they arrive and before they leave. You don't need to have separate toilets for each group or bubble, but you should try to limit the number of people using them at the same time.
ID verification: ID verification can be done in-person, on a one-to-one basis, if social distancing can be maintained. No-one should be under pressure to meet up if they cannot do so safely. If you need to arrange a virtual ID check through the post please contact DisclosureSystemsDL@girlguiding.org.uk
Virtual meetings: You can keep meeting virtually, even once you restart in-person meetings. You might want to alternate your meetings between online and face-to-face. It’s up to you to decide what works best for you and your unit. Check out our support for virtual guiding:
We know it's likely that restrictions will change on this date, but there might still be limits on numbers and activities. Please don't book activities or pay any booking fees until more information has been announced. It’s important to remember all dates given by government in the roadmap out of lockdown are not before dates and can be changed.
We know that this has been a tough time and we want to make sure that when we do meet again, we do it safely and in the best interest of our volunteers and girls. We’ll do our best to give you plenty of notice when Girlguiding’s meetings, camps, trips and events can start again across the UK.
Please click on the the "learn more" button to see the latest guidance.