Skip to main content

Getting everyone back together safely


Updated 10/09/2020

From 10 September 2020, Scotland moves to Yellow readiness level. Members in Scotland have been emailed this information on what this means.

Despite the recent change to social gathering restrictions in England (9 September 2020), the government has confirmed that as an essential service, youth sector activity can continue unchanged where groups and units follow Scouts restart guidance, which is in line with COVID secure NYA guidance standards.

We can confirm the following changes to the rules for Amber readiness in England:

  • Indoor activities are now allowed, but outdoor activities are preferred and should be encouraged
  • Numbers change to 15 young people and up to five leaders (carers can be in addition and will not be counted in these numbers) – this applies both indoors and outdoors. Leaders can also include Young Leaders.
  • Young people must stay in their limited group size but adults will now be able to move between these groups, i.e. across the 25m spacing if outdoors or to a section meeting at a different time on the same day.
  • Leaders don’t need to wear a face covering when delivering activities – however, it’s recommended to wear one in all other circumstances while indoors.
  • Scouts and Explorers must now wear face coverings indoors. Exceptions as per national guidelines are permitted.

For now, all young people in all sections must continue to social distance by 2m from each other where possible and from adult volunteers at all times.

For anyone who has already had a risk assessment accepted, you will not need to start again, but simply amend the risk assessment. If you need help to understand these possible changes, please contact your local management team. We hope to provide further updates to the Nations soon.

As lockdown measures start to ease we are working with youth sector partners and the National Youth Agency government body to understand what a safe return to face to face Scouts may look like when the readiness level reduces from red in your area.

Below is the framework and set of guidance on how elements of face to face Scouts could take place and the safety measures we would need to take into account. You can review this guidance now and start to make local plans for how you would implement some face to face activities once the readiness level in the nation was reduced.

You can watch our webinar from 2 July 2020, explaining more on how you can re-start Scouts. Watch the recording >

Residential activities that involve multiple households and international trips are only permitted at the green readiness level. These will not take place until at least three months from the publishing of this guidance (25 September 2020). This will be reviewed in September 2020 to give those planning trips as much certainty as possible.

The Scouts Framework – for face to face activities

The Scouts Framework is aligned with Government-approved guidance for the Youth Sector developed by the National Youth Agency. This framework will apply in every nation within UK Scouting and walks through:

  • the permissions process for restarting any face to face activity
  • the key considerations to be ready to restart face-to-face activities and how these will be phased
  • Legal and liability conditions
  • Key control measures for everyone to follow

Update 10 September 2020:

Update for Scotland only, removing indoor activities from Amber and camping from Yellow based on updated guidance from Scottish Government. Changes highlighted in Green.

Read the framework

Guidance for completing risk assessments and approving face to face activity



The Guidance and support sections below are to help you plan the practical sides of some face to face Scout activity. The guidance covers a range of different situations you may want to plan for and talks you through what needs to be considered when you are preparing for safe return to face to face. This will support you in completing the written risk assessment required to have any face to face activity approved.

All of UK Readiness Levels - Variations

Discover the readiness level in your area
England Readiness Level – Amber
Scotland Readiness Level – Yellow
Wales Readiness Level – Amber
N.Ireland Readiness Level – Amber