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Guidance on prevention and management of illnesses within the Scouts.


Published September 2022

Everyone will come down with illnesses at some time or another, with young people being carriers of many common illnesses. Managing this within Scouting activities is important to prevent unnecessary spread. In most cases, the way that this should be approached is similar.


Make sure that everyone knows not to attend a meeting, trip or event if they're ill or if they show any symptoms of suffering from any illness.

It can be a hard message to share or enforce, especially when someone has their heart set on attending a particular activity. However, it can be linked back to the values of caring for others.

It's best for everyone, as the individual won’t have the best experience and, if passed on, others will also become unwell. The effect on others could potentially be more severe than on the initial person.

Throughout activities, we can put in place actions that can help  to reduce the spread of any illness. The simplest action is to encourage washing of hands periodically. Follow the NHS' advice on hand washing.


There should also be a plan in place in case anyone becomes ill during activities. This can include how they are cared for, if and when they return home, and how they're provided with additional treatment as required.

Remember that the NHS will provide advice on what medical treatment is required by calling 111.

At many large events, isolation areas are set up for groups who come down with illnesses that could be infectious. 

On a simple camp or meeting, use a separate area, but remember the keep yourself safe too.


Don’t forget that anyone taken ill at a Scouts activity, who received medical intervention, such as by a doctor, dentist, walk in centre, hospital and so on, must have the incident reported to UK Headquarters.

Some illnesses will be reportable through medical practitioners. This may result in the group being asked to share communication with the other people present at an activity.

If this happens then you should be told by them what to share, but if you need support please do contact