This guidance emphasises the importance of undertaking robust and regular risk assessments with full input from trade unions or workforce representatives, and to keep all risk mitigation measures under regular review so that workplaces continue to feel, and be, as safe as possible.
Easing restrictions will not mean returning to how things were before the virus. Physical distancing, hand hygiene, and risk reducing measures will be essential in each area to ensure public and workforce confidence and reassure service users.
The aim of this guidance is to provide clarity on what is expected with regard to practical approaches to reopening of activities, groups, clubs and services for children and young people, babies and toddlers, including their parents where they attend, that is unregulated and not covered specifically by any other sector guidance.
It is intended to assist service providers, staff and volunteers, and their users, as they reopen their premises and resume face-to-face contact securely and in line with national and local guidance.
This guidance will provide key principles for consideration and is not intended to promote a 'checklist' approach. Providers should exercise their judgement to ensure that the safety and wellbeing of their staff, children and families is paramount, taking account of local circumstances and the overall recommendation to reduce to a minimum the overall number of direct contacts to continue suppression of the COVID-19 virus.
A key aim of this guidance is to ensure that for users of indoor and outdoor services and activities for children and young people (discrete from school and regulated settings for which separate arrangements apply as set out), the risk of exposure to the virus is minimised, including:
- for those who are employed or volunteer
- for children and parents using them
- for other visitors such as, for example, trainee volunteers and delivery persons or contractors
This guidance is not exhaustive and providers must continue to operate within the relevant legal and regulatory frameworks to ensure the health and wellbeing of children and parents while they are using their service. Measures put in place to comply with this guidance must not contravene health and safety or other legislation: for example, fire doors must not be left ajar to increase ventilation.
Nothing in this guidance affects the legal obligations of providers with regard to health and safety and public health advice. Providers must continue to adhere to all such duties when implementing this guidance.
Service providers, their staff and volunteers must make themselves familiar with COVID-19 advice available from Health Protection Scotland (HPS) before the service reopens or activity takes place. It is important that the most up-to-date guidance is used and that managers, staff and volunteers are knowledgeable about current guidance. Always access guidance online wherever possible and check regularly for any updated advice.
The guidance that should be consulted includes:
- HPS: COVID-19 Non Healthcare Settings guidance which provides general information on the background to COVID-19, symptoms, general principles of infection prevention and control and health protection measures and what to do if someone becomes unwell on site
- NHS Inform which has a wide range of useful public facing information including information on symptoms and what to do
- Test and protect website from Scottish Government that contains information on how to get tested and what you need to do
- Returning to work safely which has details of current sectoral guidance and further sources of advice for organisations and workers
- Healthy Working Lives website which provides examples of risk assessment templates and other practical tools for organisations and workers
- Health and Safety Executive (HSE) COVID-19 guidance as this will be referred to by HSE inspectors to assess compliance
This guidance remains under review and may be updated.