COVID-19 Resuming GB community group activities – guidance

Policies and guidance

There have been a range of COVID-19 guidance documents with regard to activities and GB has reviewed these to produce GB’s guidance for resuming face-to-face activities. 

The current readiness level in England and Wales is Green

green readiness level

UPDATE 21/09/2021:

GB groups in Wales have now moved to the Green Readiness Level, however, groups should continue to operate in a COVID-19 responsible way, this means that groups:

  • Must have a risk assessment in place
  • Have completed the COVID-19 Checklist and have approval from their church to resume face-to-face activities
  • Ensure good hand hygiene and cleanliness regimes are implemented
  • Adults and children over 12 should continue to wear face coverings, and adults should continue to maintain social distancing, where possible
  • Social distancing is also expected, and highly recommended in small unventilated rooms/venues
  • Social distancing and the use of face coverings should be considered and reviewed with your leadership team and/or young people/parents where you have individuals who would be highly vulnerable to COVID-19.
  • There are no limits on group size indoors or outdoors. However, you should consider the impact on your group if a member tests positive for COVID-19 and all members were to isolate and plan your group size accordingly.  Numbers of people and time should be limited in poorly ventilated rooms.
  • Mixing across groups is discouraged
  • Day trips and visits are permitted but you should ensure you understand any COVID-19 responsible requirements put in place by the venue as these may differ to GB’s guidance.
  • Travel by minibus, taxi, public transport, or private car (subject to safeguarding) are permitted.
  • Residentials are permitted and there are no restrictions on group size. However, you should ensure that you understand any COVID-19 responsible requirements your venue will require. Lateral flow testing is still required. You should also ensure that you put sufficient measures in place to provide a COVID-19 responsible environment.

UPDATE 07/09/2021:

GB groups in England have now moved to the Green Readiness Level, however groups should continue to operate in a COVID-19 responsible way, this means that:

  • Residentials and sleepovers are permitted and there are no restrictions on group size. However, you should ensure that you understand any COVID-19 responsible requirements your venue will require. Young people and leaders can now sleep more than six to a room/tent. Lateral flow testing is still required before a residential/sleepover, every 2 to 3 days when you’re away, and on your return for both children, young people and leaders. You should also ensure that you put sufficient measures in place to provide a COVID-19 responsible environment.
  • International trips and visits are now permitted, in line with advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office about which countries can be visited. If you would like to plan an international trip, please speak to us first so we can get advice from our insurers.

This new guidance is in addition to the changes that were brought in at the end of July for all groups in England to operate in a COVID-19 responsible way, as detailed below.


UPDATE 19/07/2021:

GB groups in England continue to operate at Yellow Readiness, but a number of restrictions have been removed. Groups should continue to operate in a COVID-19 responsible way, this means that groups should continue to:

  • Have a risk assessment in place
  • Have completed the COVID-19 Checklist and have approval from their church to resume face-to-face activities
  • Ensure good hand hygiene and cleanliness regimes are implemented
  • Face coverings are expected, and highly recommended in small unventilated spaces such as small rooms without windows, where close contact work is taking place, and when using transport
  • Social distancing is also expected, and highly recommended in small unventilated rooms/venues
  • Social distancing and the use of face coverings should be considered and reviewed with your leadership team and/or young people/parents where you have individuals who would be highly vulnerable to COVID-19.
  • In England there are no limits on group size for under and over 18s meeting indoors or outdoors. However, you should consider the impact on your group if a member tests positive for COVID-19 and all members were to isolate and plan your group size accordingly.
  • Day trips and visits are permitted but you should ensure you understand any COVID-19 responsible requirements put in place by the venue as these may differ to GB’s guidance.
  • Travel by minibus, taxi, public transport, or private car (subject to safeguarding) are permitted.
  • Residentials are permitted and there are no restrictions on group size. However, you should ensure that you understand any COVID-19 responsible requirements your venue will require. Young people and leaders should sleep no more than six to a room/tent. Lateral flow testing is still required. You should also ensure that you put sufficient measures in place to provide a COVID-19 responsible environment.
  • Singing is permitted but please check your church’s stance on this.

GB groups in Wales

  • 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’ll 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, the limits for meeting outdoors have been removed.
  • Residential are permitted for up to 30 young people aged under 18 plus leaders and carers. Sleeping arrangements will be clarified once confirmed by the Welsh Government. For groups including over 18s, residentials are permitted for up to six using single occupancy accommodation.

You should also consult with your church to ensure that the steps you are putting in place are in line with your church guidance which may differ from that of Girls’ Brigade, following the higher expectation where there are differences.

Risk assessments and COVID-19 Checklists for any groups planning to return in September will need to be submitted to the GB Support Centre by 31 July if we’re to be able to have these approved by the end of August.

If your risk assessment has already been approved then you don’t need to resubmit these for approval.


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.


Resources

Guidance pack

Delivering an evening’s programme risk assessment

Residential events toolkit (editable)

FAQs

Template letter to parents/carers (PDF)

Template letter to parents/carers (Word doc)

Guidance webinar – September 2020

Guidance webinar – April 2021

COVID-19 update slides (April 2021)

Check out this video clip from GB’s President Rachel Gardner sharing her support for GB leaders as lockdown eases. 

 

 

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