On the 25th June 2020 the Scout Association published guidance for the gradual return to face to face scouting. An ‘outdoor meetings’ document set out our policy to ensure that everyone would be safe and to prevent the spread of COVID-19 whilst slowly moving back to face to face meetings. This document adds ‘indoor meetings’ as now permitted in England at the Amber readiness level.
The system set out by The Scouts follows the National Youth Agency (NYA) framework for returning to meetings. There are four levels of alert which are as follows:
The COVID Code shows the basic steps of getting back to Face to Face Scouting:
Before any face to face meetings can take place, the risk assessments and action plans put in place must first be approved by the District Commissioner or one of their delegates.
The approval process
The steps in our planning process
1. Leaders and the Executive Committee will be sent this document for comments and leaders asked how they feel about returning to indoor meetings. (see ** below)
2. This document and the relevant risk assessments will be completed and approved by the GSL and Executive Committee.
3. Final signing off the document by the Executive Committee.
4. This document and risk assessment(s) sent to District for approval.
5. Parents will then be sent the document, asked if they would be happy for their child/children to return to indoor meetings (see ** below). The GSL / section leaders will provide meeting details.
** Parents and leaders have already been invited to respond for outdoor meetings.
Usual communications should go through E-mail; however, it may be necessary to cancel a meeting at the last minute due to unforeseen circumstances such as a change in the alert level. It may then become necessary to contact them via phone or using electronic means.
When asking parents to confirm they are happy for their children to attend face to face meetings we will also ask them to check all the details on OSM are correct for the young people in the sections.
PPE, cleaning and sanitising
Personal Protective Equipment should only be required when leaders are coming into contact with young people at a distance closer than 2 metres. This does not stop people from wearing masks etc at meetings. The only reason the 2-metre distance should be breached is if it’s absolutely necessary and with the minimum leaders needed to deal with the incident i.e. first aid or safety incident. The group will have at all meetings for each section a minimum of:
· 10 medical grade masks
· 1 visor (CE Marked)
· 10 plastic aprons
· 10 pairs disposable gloves
· 2 single use resuscitation masks or pocket masks (stored in first aid kit).
· 5 appropriate bags for contaminated material
· Disposable cloths / anti-bac wipes
· regular first aid kit
Each section will have a plastic crate in which the above. excluding the first aid kit, will be kept.
PPE is only effective if it is worn properly. PPE should be fitted as below:
PPE should be removed as below:
Regular cleaning must be carried after each face to face session. Equipment sharing is not encouraged and activities should aim to give each young person their own equipment which others will not have contact with. There should also be minimal items sent home and minimal items bought from home. All of these measures help to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
|Stage:||What needs cleaning?|
|Amber||Equipment Only and Hall|
|Yellow||Equipment and Hall|
All equipment that can be, must be wiped clean at the end of the meeting.
Any other equipment should be quarantined for a period of 72 hours before being used again. This will involve date marking to indicate when it was put into quarantine. Equipment being quarantined should be stored separately from remaining equipment. Suitable crates will be provided in the equipment store.
Pens, pencils and stationery should either be quarantined or wiped down with anti-bacterial wipes.
A signoff check sheet will be provided for each session which should be filled in to confirm the completion of the above activities.
Hall cleaning (between each session):
· Toilets cleaned with appropriate cleaning solutions
· Kitchen Cleaned with appropriate cleaning solution
· Touch Points wiped down with a D10 Cleaning Solution
· Tables and chairs that are used wiped down with D10 Cleaning Solution
Cleaning materials will be kept in the main equipment store.
The signoff check sheet (see Equipment cleaning above) should be filled in to confirm the completion of the above activities.
Hall cleaning – Weekly
Where the hall has been used, more thorough cleaning will be carried out weekly. A signoff sheet will be provided and filled in on completion of the cleaning.
At each meeting there will be sanitiser available to be used before, during and after meetings. Good hygiene will also be actively encouraged by the leaders.
Sanitiser will be alcohol based as this has proved effective against COVID-19
Soaps will be anti-bacterial.
Use of Toilets
Normally only one toilet will be used by a section during an evening (to limit cleaning required). People should use the handwashing facilities in the normal way.
For meetings outside in the grounds of the Scout Hut, access to the hut should be via the rear fire door. A leader will monitor, from the main hall, to ensure the correct cubicle is used and to make sure the rest of the hall is not touched. Leaders and members of the Scout section using the toilet facilities must wear a mask when in the building.
It would help the smooth running of the meeting if children used the toilets as little as possible.
Group sizes and distancing
As of 3rd September 2020, for outdoor activities, the size of a “small” group is 15 plus up to 5 leaders/Young Leaders. This may change over time and the current size can be seen here. At each meeting minimum ratios must be met. These ratios are as follows:
|Section:||Ratio for: Regular Indoor Meeting||Ratio for: Outdoor Activity – away from the usual meeting place|
|Beavers||2 Adults (One must hold an appointment)||1 Adult to 6 Beavers plus the Leader in Charge|
|Cubs||2 Adults (One must hold an appointment)||1 Adult to 8 Cubs plus the Leader in Charge|
|Scouts||2 Adults (One must hold an appointment)||1 Adult to 12 Scouts. Minimum 2 adults.|
Indoor Meetings – Space available means that only one group can meet at any one time in the Scout Hut.
Outdoor Meetings – As long as the ratios above are met then multiple groups can meet simultaneously provided they are 25+ metres apart.
Accurate registers will also need to be taken which must include leaders and parent helpers present as well as young people. The records must be kept for at least 21 days for the track and trace service to use in the event of an outbreak.
Section meeting times, days and locations
It may be the case that meeting days and times will shift to allow for the number of young people involved. The suggested locations for outdoor meetings are the outdoor area at the rear of the hall or locations away from the hall. This should mean the lowest chance of getting in the way of other people. This will also facilitate the space for multiple meetings being run simultaneously.
For meetings held away from the hall there may be no toilet or handwashing facility. Therefore, it may be necessary to shorten meeting lengths and remind young people to use the toilet before attending. Sanitiser will be used in place of handwashing facilities.
Transport to and from meetings
Please be aware of the need for social distancing when you arrive and leave a meeting. Lift sharing is strongly discouraged.
Drop off and pick up
Meetings outside the Scout Hut.
On arrival parents and children will queue along the pathway from the usual entrance door to the rear of the hall at 2 metre distances. The pathway will be split into two to provide an entrance and exit, defined by cones. Parents will leave their children at the end of the pathway and use the other side of the pathway to leave. The same process will be in place for pick up.
Meetings inside the Scout Hut
On arrival parents and children will queue from the entrance to the car park to the usual entrance door at 2 metre distances. Parents will leave their children at the door and leave by the marked route. Parents will queue in the same way for pick up, again at 2 metre distances. Children will leave by the main door in the order of parents in the queue.
Members of the Scout section must wear face coverings inside the Scout Hut. Exceptions as per national guidelines are permitted
Leaders do not need to wear a face covering when delivering activities, but should in all other circumstances. Exceptions as per national guidelines are permitted
Meetings away from the Scout Hut.
Leaders will inform the parents of a notable place to meet. Parents should bring the young person to the meeting place, and leave as soon as they have handed over to the leaders. Standing around talking should not be encouraged and so when a parent arrives to collect at the end of the meeting the young person should leave. Meetings should not overrun as this creates an opportunity for parents to stand around and talk which could lead to the breaking of social distancing.
Whilst we will try to maintain social distancing, children being children we cannot guarantee this.
The leaders will remind the young people at the beginning of each meeting.
If the young person repeatedly breaks the distancing then they may not be allowed to return to face to face meetings for a period as defined by the section leader and GSL.
As a parent/guardian I will
1. Advise my child to maintain a minimum of 2 metres distance (or any other such distance introduced by the Government) from the closest person unless it is an emergency.
2. Not allow my child to attend a face to face meeting if they, or anyone in their household, are presenting any COVID-19 symptoms.
3. Ensure that if another member of my child’s section tests positive, I will follow the guidance set by the Government in relation to self-isolation.
4. Consent to the Section Leader providing my contact details to the Governments Track and Trace System if another member of my child’s section tests positive.
First Aid Policy
Before dealing with any incident, first aiders will need to ensure they wear a mask, an apron, disposable gloves and possibly a visor as distancing will be broken.
Sanitiser should also be used prior to and after treating the injury. All materials need to be disposed of properly especially items that have blood or other bodily fluids on. If it is possible and sensible the person being treated should also wear a mask. The masks should not be removed until the person is handed over to the ambulance service or a parent/guardian.
Full detailed records need to be kept of any incident in case an outbreak occurs, this information will be needed by the track and trace service. The first aider should monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 and if present should isolate, until a “negative” result is given as a result of being tested or until the isolation period is over.
CPR During COVID-19
In adults the current governmental advice is that a cloth or some other covering should be placed over the mouth and nose and no rescue breaths should be given, only chest compressions at the normal rate (5-6cm compression at 30 beats followed by a break where normally rescue breaths are given but in this case they aren’t). Another leader present should be phoning 999 as soon as the incident occurs, they should then place the phone on speaker and maintain a 2m distance from the casualty and the first aider
For children, the guidance is different and this statement from the national resuscitation council explains why:
“It is likely that the child/infant having an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest will be known to you. We accept that doing rescue breaths will increase the risk of transmitting the COVID-19 virus, either to the rescuer or the child/infant. However, this risk is small compared to the risk of taking no action as this will result in certain cardiac arrest and the death of the child.“
To this end, it is important that you take all necessary precautions by using a rescue face shield or pocket mask. Those involved should monitor themselves for the following 14 days and if appropriate should isolate themselves and those living with them until tested and given a “negative” result or until the isolation period is over.