We’re currently operating at the Amber Readiness Level in both England and Wales.
The National Youth Agency (NYA) have confirmed that from Monday, 12 April 2021, GB groups in England can move to the Amber Readiness Level for activities inside as well as outside. This means that from this date GB groups may resume face-to-face activities inside or outside, in line with GB’s COVID-19 guidance. The NYA have advised of the following changes to the guidance for indoor meetings:
- For groups that are made up of under 18s i.e. those who were 17 or under at the start of the school year (before 31.8.2020), there are no constraints on group sizes. However, you will need to ensure that your groups can safely meet in your venue and continue to meet all COVID-19 secure requirements including 2m social distancing, hygiene requirements, and the use of face coverings for those 11 years and older, as well as maintaining safe ratios of leaders to young people. Groups should be kept as consistent as possible. If you feel more comfortable sticking to the previous limit of 15 plus leaders then please do so.
- For groups that are made up of over 18s or contain under and over 18s, you should continue to meet in fixed groups of 15 plus leaders. You should follow GB’s guidance to ensure you remain COVID-19 secure. Any group containing over 18s young people can not mix with any other group.
- Leaders may move between rooms/bubbles if required to safeguard young people, manage behaviour, or provide assistance. But this should be avoided if possible.
- Local day trips and visits are permitted but should only take place if planned outcomes can’t be achieved through other means. They should be kept as minimal and short as possible. If you’re visiting an outside activity or venue, you’ll need to ensure you comply with any requirements they set around group size etc., which may be smaller than the size of group you’re working with.
- Residential Events aren’t permitted.
- From 27 March – GB Groups in Wales will move to Amber Readiness for outside activities only in groups of up to 30 plus leaders.
- From 29 March – GB Groups in England will move to Amber Readiness for outside activities only.
UPDATE 2/3/2021: Following the government announcement of the plan to ease the lockdown in England and information from the National Youth Agency (NYA), we’re now able to provide you with more information about what this means for GB groups. It’s important to remember that any dates are the earliest that changes to activities can take place. Each step will be confirmed by the government one week in advance and only if specific criteria are met. So please don’t book anything that may incur charges until we can confirm that the next phase out of lockdown easing will take place.
From 12 April 2021 at the earliest – GB will move to the Amber Readiness Level and this means that GB groups may resume face-to-face activities indoors and outdoors in groups of 15 young people plus leaders. Day trips and visits will also be allowed. GB’s COVID-19 guidance for creating a COVID-19-secure environment will need to be adhered to for both on-site and off-site activities. Additional restrictions may also apply at other venues, e.g. theatres and museums, and you should check these out before planning any trips or visits. Please don’t make any bookings until guidelines are in place and the move to the Amber Readiness Level is confirmed.
From 17 May 2021 at the earliest – GB will move to the Yellow Readiness Level. Fixed group sizes will be confirmed by the NYA one week in advance to moving to the Yellow Readiness Level.
From 21 June 2021 at the earliest – GB will move to the Green Readiness Level and this will mean that residential events may take place but will be subject to specific guidance. Fixed group sizes, social distancing measures or health and hygiene measures are unknown at this stage and will be advised one week in advance of moving to the Green Readiness Level.
Residential activities – we’d previously said that no residentials should take place before Easter 2021. It’s very likely that measures will need to be put in place to ensure that residentials are undertaken in as safe a manner as possible as we move forward. At this point neither GB nor the NYA know what the measures will be and it will require legislative changes for residentials to be able to take place so please don’t make any bookings until guidelines are in place and GB confirms that residential events can take place.
Further guidance will be issued to groups in Wales as and when further information is released by the Welsh government.
Guidance on how to meet safely, along with risk assessments and the steps we would expect groups to take to resume face-to-face activities is available to download below. Please make sure you’re always working from the latest version of this guidance and that your COVID-19 checklist Part One and risk assessment has been approved by the GB Support Centre.
This allows time for groups to discuss with their leadership team, their church and to brief parents/carers on the steps that will be taken to ensure the safety of their children when activities do resume.
All GB community group Team Leaders and District Team Leaders are expected to read this guidance.
Below is a recording of our webinar training – please note this doesn’t include the updates that have been made to version 2 of our guidance, these can be found in the documents below.
Check out this video clip from GB’s President Rachel Gardner sharing her support for GB leaders as lockdown eases.