Update as 20:34hrs – Monday 16th March 2020
The Prime Minister has said that everyone in the UK should now avoid non-essential travel and contact with others.
Suspension of face-to-face activities
Given this guidance, all face-to-face Scout meetings, activities and events must be suspended from Tuesday, 17 March 2020. This suspension applies to young people and adults, and will be until further notice.
We will continue to follow official guidance; the safety of everyone involved in Scouts, both young people and adults, is our number one priority. That is always at the heart of our decision making.
Given the latest Government guidance, we are cancelling the following events:
- Day of Celebration at Windsor
- Beaver and Cub Fundays at Gilwell Park and Woodhouse Park
- Gilwell 24
We will be communicating to specific audiences about these event cancellations directly. We’d ask that you wait for this information to be sent out rather than contacting us immediately, due to the volume of enquiries we are currently receiving.
If you or your team are involved in organising any future Scout events, you will now need to review these plans and risk assessments given this new guidance.
Jamborees and other large events
If applicable, we suggest you regularly check the websites of relevant large-scale events, for example, Jamborees and camps, for specific updates from the organisers.
The organisers of the European Jamboree 2020 in Poland have shared this update and continue to add to their frequently asked questions on the changing situation here. If applicable, please continue to monitor these updates.
Scout trips abroad
We asked the Government (the Department for Culture, Media and Sport) for clarity about youth groups travelling abroad, as the current advice only specifies school trips. We will let you know when we receive an update.
As well as the Government Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website has the latest information, guidance and travel advice, along with details of any restrictions – which must be followed.
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation may have implications for your travel insurance. Check with your insurers directly about the levels of cover. If you have taken insurance through Unity, they have provided an update here.
Scout Information Centre
The Scout Information Centre will only be able to deal with emails and web chat until further notice. As you can imagine, we are experiencing an unprecedented level of enquiries at the moment, so please use the Government guidance as your primary reference where possible.
Scouting at home
We are planning to share activities for young people to do at home with their parents if families are faced with self-isolation. We will be communicating more about this soon.
A message from UK Chief Commissioner, Tim Kidd
I think we all agree that it’s in challenging times like these, that our Scout values matter most. We are talking to the Government and other community organisations to see how Scouts can support our country during this crisis. We must make sure that we do this in the safest possible way, and don’t put anyone at further risk. We will update you more on this over the coming weeks.
As always, I want to say a big thank you for everything you do for Scouts. By checking and following the latest Government advice and by taking a calm and measured approach, we can continue to ensure that young people and adults stay safe.
We are aware of the Government announcement to stop non-essential contact with others and to stop all unnecessary travel. We will be emailing further guidance to our members re this later this evening or tomorrow.
However please remember…
- We must continue to respond to the developing situation in a calm, measured and appropriate way
- The Government’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage is frequently updated as things develop, and our members should check it regularly (www.gov.uk/coronavirus)
- Just like everyone else, our members should follow advice on self-isolation, and hand washing good practice
- The safety of everyone involved in Scouts is our number one priority. As always, that should be at the heart of our decision making. We have been and will continue to regularly check the Government advice, and monitor the situation locally. areas, and make proportionate local decisions relating to Scout activities. For example, if a local school has closed due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) risk, it is probably appropriate to stop meetings, activities and events in that area temporarily.