Advice on adapting activities
Hazard: The virus can spread around groups that work closely together
Controls and mitigation: If you can split the group into smaller self-contained groups for activities it will reduce the risk of spread.
When splitting the meeting into smaller groups please consider grouping members with people they already spend time with, eg: siblings, school bubbles. Your members will know what these groups are so this does not require extensive pre-planning. Particular care should be taken on activities with the potential for close proximity, eg: two scouts sharing a fire for a cooking activity.
Hazard: The virus can spread from surfaces, and from the air, onto hands and from there into mouths and eyes.
Controls and mitigations: Keeping hands clean reduces the risk of spread
- Insert hand cleaning into instructions at appropriate points, e.g.: after touching shared surfaces and equipment, before and after handling food and drinks.
- As a minimum, everyone should wash their hands or sanitise them on arrival, before departure and at least once an hour during meetings.
Hazard: The virus can spread from person to person when we touch shared equipment, particularly with the hands
Controls and mitigations:
- Ideally each young person has their own set of equipment and it’s cleaned before use by others.
- Where that is not practical then sharing within a smaller group is better than sharing between everyone
- For equipment touched intensively with the hands, e.g. compasses, scissors, cooking utensils, section members should be given one each. Less frequently touched equipment (e.g. most games equipment) can be shared.
- Minimise hand contact with equipment, e.g. could a ball game involve kicking the ball rather than throwing it?
- Whenever shared equipment has been used, a hand hygiene break should be included.
- Because of the need for cleaning between users, meeting programmes that rotate around multiple sets of equipment in a session are less practical than longer activities using equipment for the full session.
- Frequently touched equipment should be cleaned before being put back into storage.
- Where practical, equipment should be cleaned at the meeting location to avoid virus transmission in transit
Hazard: The virus can spread more easily from person to person when they work face-to-face since it is carried on the breath
Controls and mitigations:
- Don’t have a group huddled round a table face-to-face to do an activity. Consider alternative formats, e.g.:
- Group works in a circle, spread out by the distancing guideline applying at the time
- Or group works in two lines back to back
- Plan in advance how to help a child that is struggling to follow instructions, without a leader moving into the distancing zone to intervene: e.g.:
- Coach from outside the distancing area
- Demonstrate from a distance with your own set of equipment
- Show a video of the activity on a phone
- Get a neighbouring young person to demonstrate
It’s not worth taking the risk of going too close to solve this sort of problem.
- Separate guidance on first aid is available to explain the trade-off between distancing and providing necessary help.
Hazard: The more time a group is together, the more chance the virus has to spread from person to person.
Keep activities as short as we can, thinking about the following:
- Could the activity be simplified?
- Could more up-front preparation by leaders reduce the time it takes the young people to complete the activity, without diluting their learning?
- Could the activity be finished off at home? E.g. make something in the meeting but do the decorating at home?
Hazard: Sometimes young people may step outside the rules agreed, increasing the chances of the virus spreading.
As part of the planning for the activity, think through:
- What you will do if young people leave their groups .
- What you would do if young people don’t follow social distancing instructions within their groups.
We can transfer the virus from location to location when we transport material and equipment that people have been using from place to place.
- Align with local schools’ practice on whether artwork and craft projects can be taken home.
- Materials for craft projects should not be brought from home to the meeting place, e.g.: recycling for junk modelling. Consider doing projects like this using video meetings.