Nights away and international travel
Nights Away and international travel have not been possible since the COVID 19 pandemic stated. The Scouts worked with the National Youth Agency (NYA) to identify at what readiness level these activities would be possible. In the summer of 2020, the NYA confirmed that until Green no indoor residential or international travel can take place with some work taking place to establish when it will be safe to conduct camping activities in a controlled way.
The Scouts have issued periods in which members may not take part in international travel, allowing for the groups to then make firm plans to cancel, move and reschedule or get refunds for trips which they can’t participate in. This has been reviewed periodically with the time frames extended on a rolling basis.
Following careful consideration of things such as the availability of a vaccine and taking account of changing factors and situations in the UK and in other countries, our current assessment is that the likelihood of international trips occurring during 2021 is extremely unlikely.
Therefore, our approach to follow NYA guidance and wait until the UK is at green readiness level remains. We do not foresee any international trips before 1 January 2022. We encourage groups not to raise hopes by starting or continuing any planning in the coming months. We may make focused statements about specific events targeted to that relevant audience.
We will continue to review the situation and should all restrictions ease enough to make international Scouts trips viable and safe a revised date for these restarting will be published. Our next formal scheduled review will be in September 2021.
For the purposes of this guidance where we refer to international travel we refer to those trips which would fall within the definition and requirements of POR Rule 9.64 Visits Abroad.
The Scouts have issued periods in which members may not take part in residential activities, allowing for the groups to then make firm plans to cancel, move and reschedule or get refunds for trips which they can’t participate in. This has been reviewed periodically with the time frames extended.
Following careful consideration of things such as the availability of a vaccine and its reach across the world and the potential for being at readiness level Green by the summer of 2021, the Scouts will continue to review the situation, on a rolling month by month basis. Taking account of changing factors and situations in the UK and across the nations, our current assessment is that the likelihood of indoor residential experiences taking place in the UK before June 2021 is extremely unlikely.
Each UK Nation is likely to have a different approach for allowing the restart of Camping and Indoor residentials. No Scout camping may take place until the nation you plan to camp in allows it to start. Published target dates are the earliest possible restart date and may slip. The detailed rules for nights away may not be clear until quite soon before the national restart, so any plans made before the rules are laid out need to be very flexible, with a low risk of financial loss if you need to change your plans.
There is a possibility that camping activities may be permitted to restart once the relevant government departments agree at which level and with what safety measures and controls. The Scouts will continue to monitor this situation and will provide updates as they become available, but we will review this to see if camping in some form may be possible during the summer of 2021. If planning to travel within the UK to any of the islands you must ensure that you follow any nation or island in place at the time.
We are sure many of you are thinking about this, either because you are simply wondering what to do next summer with your section/unit, or because you can no longer attend that larger event you or your young people were looking forward to. Before we go any further, we should say, our ability to predict the future is no better than yours nor should you take any of our suggestions as an indication of what future guidance or rules either from Scouts or government will say – we are just trying to help stimulate the right questions and we hope provide some inspiration whilst at the same time, we hope, reducing the risk that all the hard work that goes into planning these sorts of activities doesn’t go to waste.
In these challenging times we would urge you to consider planning activities which are close to home, ones which, if the restrictions at the time prevent it from happening fully can be adapted to allow some more adventure to be included within the programme. Think about using local activity centres and campsite, these are resources which have really struggled in 2020 and need our support to stay open. If you book residentials at local facilities and if you can’t stay overnight you can hopefully still make use of the facilities for day activities.
If you decide to continue with planning for a nights away in 2021 or an international trip in 2022 then check out the nights away and international travel considerations table to help with your decisions.