Capacity and physical distancing
The household restriction does not apply to any gatherings for the purposes of education, training or voluntary services. Physical distancing should be maintained as set out in Coronavirus (COVID-19) Phase 3: staying safe and protecting others .
In assessing and managing risk, service providers should assess the number of individuals (staff, volunteers, children and young people, parents) that can safely be accommodated in a setting at any one time, following the current guidance.
Carefully controlled groupwork activities (with up to a maximum of 10 children, young people parents and facilitators indoors or 15 outdoors) or one-to-one sessions could be delivered in an appropriate setting from 31 August. Other conditions for indoor mother/baby groups and organised activities for children up to 12 months apply.
The expectations before delivery should be in place including physical distancing. Organisations/service providers may wish to consider beginning with a smaller number, or a consistent group of children or young people. They may also wish to consider working with bubble groups based on age bands to manage the different physical distancing requirements.
There is currently no scientific evidence on the duration of an indoor event or activity which might be acceptable, but indoor settings are seen as higher risk, and the risk increases with the number of households in one space. Organisations/service providers should consider, as part of their overall risk assessment, whether their previous delivery model should be adjusted to reduce this risk. That could mean taking on a blended delivery approach (some remote or virtual and some face-to-face), or reducing the time spent indoors, utilising any outdoor space where possible or practical.
Although there is no specific restriction on the number of groups a service provider could support, they should take into consideration how many households they are meeting up with in a day and look to minimise the risk to themselves and family by restricting this where possible.
Organised activity indoors
- set a maximum number for indoor organised activities to 10 people (all ages included, no more than 5 adults)
- set a maximum number of households for indoor organised activities to 10
Organised activity outdoors
- set a maximum number for outdoor organised activities to 15 people (excluding under 12’s,)
- set a maximum number of households for outdoor organised activities to 15 – this includes the under 12’s.
Capacity may be reduced across settings depending on venue size and the delivery model and may be lower than the current Scottish Government default position on the maximum number of individuals currently permitted to meet at one time indoors or outdoors. Further guidance can be found via this link COVID-19 Staying Safe and Protecting others
The following factors will also be important to consider in determining capacity and making the necessary adjustments:
- ability to maintain physical distancing for all users of the site/space
- ability to manage enhanced cleaning and personal hygiene
- the specific setting for delivery
- potential needs/behaviours of children/young people
- the age of children/young people
- the size and layout of space for staff and volunteers, including office space, kitchen and any corridors and entrances.
- how indoor and outdoor spaces can be utilised and re-designed to minimise risks
- what staffing ratios are needed to supervise each space
- what alternative settings/spaces could be used and managed safely
- what insurance or permissions need to be in place for alternative private spaces
- whether you could work with outdoor providers or other service providers
- which cohorts of toddlers and children/young people might benefit most from access to face-to-face services,
In helping to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on health and wellbeing, and to carefully consider the needs of all your service users these additional approaches should also be considered:
- gradual, phased re-introduction of a specific and managed number of children or young people and parents safely in line with guidance
- what measures to manage numbers and movement around the workspaces will help ensure the health and safety of any staff and volunteers returning to the workplace.