Coronavirus/Covid-19 – Getting back together safely

The youth sector (including Scouts, of course) in England remains in the Yellow readiness level throughout the summer: but from 19 July there have been changes:

  • Group sizes – There is no limit to group sizes, meaning that full sections and multiple sections may now meet together. You must still act to minimise the spread of Covid-19 when running activities. These changes now apply to all age ranges, with no differences for Scout Network and adult groups
  • Covid-19 controls – It is no longer the law to practise social distancing or wear a face covering. However members will still need to wear face coverings in the following circumstances

when an activity requires direct physical contact

when in direct contact because of an incident or

in poorly ventilated spaces

          Social distancing is still appropriate when in poorly ventilated spaces (note: you must also follow any requirements of facilities and external providers)

  • Nights Away – There are now no group size limits for nights away activities, but members must still have no more than six people per accommodation (tent / room)
  • Lateral flow testing has now become a recommendation and not a requirement, but we strongly encourage members to keep testing as outlined in the guidance. Anyone displaying Covid-19 symptoms or testing positive must return home immediately, and those sharing a room/tent with that individual must also return home and self-isolate

The readiness level table now reflects these changes. Please be sure to check the current guidance, all available on the getting back together safely  pages. We expect the next update from UK Headquarters in September. In the meantime, don’t forget that you will also need to risk assess your activities. If you have approved Amber risk assessments you don’t need to resubmit them for Yellow unless you wish to take advantage of the residential option, in which case a new risk assessment will need to be approved by the District beforehand.

Please make sure that you plan meetings in a way that minimises the risk of infection – these changes should also be reflected in your risk assessments. Download a list of steps to take to plan for safe indoor meeting places here.

We hope with this easing of restrictions that more young people and volunteers are able to return to face-to-face activities. To help, Headquarters have created some activities which can help you plan your first few weeks of programme. 

It’s important to remember that we all have the duty to make sure we’re following the letter and spirit of the guidance. As Scouts, we have a responsibility to look after each other and our communities. Our actions should always reflect our values.

Thank you for your support in helping young people to meet face-to-face again.

Safeguarding and Safety

Young people or their parents/carers can make a report to the police in the UK about inappropriate sexual contact online such as ‘grooming’. See the CLICK CEOP button below.

Safeguarding in the Scouts

Adult volunteers who participate in regulated activity require a disclosure check. The Scout Association has reviewed all volunteer roles against the criteria for regulated activity which is defined as:

Teaching, training or instruction of children, carried out by the same person frequently (once a week or more often), or on four or more days in a thirty day period, or overnight


Day to day management or supervision on a regular basis of a person providing this activity which would be regulated if unsupervised

Some roles fall outside regulated activity and do not require a disclosure check. The remainder meet the requirements of the legislation and will require an appropriate level of disclosure check. Compass helps to automate this process: when an adult volunteer is assigned a role it will know what checks need to be processed. Renewal reminders will also be automated for those roles that require it.

Adult volunteers who work with vulnerable 18-25 year olds in Scouting need a disclosure that is checked against both the adult and child register. This can be arranged on that volunteer’s behalf by contacting

When a new adult is entered onto the system there will be two options for disclosure checks. If the applicant does not have any identification documentation with them and they have an email address then they can be sent an email with a temporary username and password which allows them to log into the disclosures system and choose the identification documentation they have available which meets the minimum requirements. Once they have selected sufficient identification the system will inform them of this; they can then arrange a meeting with the person initiating the disclosure who will then check and verify the identification documents. The other option is to enter the details straight away if the applicant does have their identification documentation with them.

Safeguarding downloads

Carry the yellow card with you and make sure you follow its guidance on our safeguarding policy. You can download a copy of the card using the link below – and copies are available at the District Centre.  Click on the links below for more resources.

Beat bullying

BeatBullying has partnered with The Scout Association on an exciting new anti-bullying initiative. As part of this, through  an easy two-stage process, BeatBullying will train Section Leaders to become  BeatBullying Champions, providing them with the tools and resources they need to  keep their young people safe, and empower them to take positive action to help  make bullying unacceptable. Read more »

Safe Scouting

Carry the purple card with you and make sure you follow its guidance in an emergency. Contact the District on 07736 430660 if you are dealing with an emergency. Copies are available at the District Centre or you can download one from here.

You can also download copies of the Staying Safe checklists for Leaders, Managers and Executive Committees:

Risk Assessment

Scouting and Alcohol

The green card provides a checklist on our policy on alcohol for all adults in Scouting. Pick up a copy at the District Centre or you can download one from here.

Put your phone down and what are you left with? Just teamwork, courage and the skills to succeed.’
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls