Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): organised activities for children from 5 January 2021

Published: 4 Jan 2021
Last updated: 12 Mar 2021 - see all updates

Updated guidance for the safe running of organised activities for children and young people during lockdown.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): organised activities for children from 5 January 2021

Purpose and background

Following the First Ministers’ announcement on 4 January 2021 for Stay at Home a slight easing of restrictions in Level 4 areas was subsequently announced on 9 March for outdoor activities. This supplementary guidance to main organised activities guidance has been updated to set out the key changes for outdoor organised activities to now include children and young people up to 18 and increase the number of parents permitted to take part in parent/baby/toddler group activities at Level 4 only. These come into effect from 12 March 2021.

This supplementary guidance is only for areas that are in Level 4 and covers the period up to the reintroduction of levels. You should continue to refer to the previous organised activities for children and young people guidance for the detail on considerations and mitigations required.

If you are at Level 3 or below, then you should continue to use the existing guidance  for organised activities to determine what is still permitted at each Level and for considerations and mitigations for your services.

From 12 March, at Level 4, outdoor organised activities can now include all children and young people (up to age 18) where there are no more than 2 adults at any one time and the overall group size, including facilitators, is no more than 15. This is permitted where the work cannot be carried out by working at home and in compliance with the gathering restrictions for this age group.

At Level 4 parent/baby and toddler groups activities, where parents are expected to attend can continue outdoors where there are no more than 15 adults present at any one time and the group is for children under 5.

Facilitators are included in the adult numbers. There is no restriction on the number of under 5s who can attend these groups.

This guidance is for organised unregulated activities and services provided outdoors for children, including babies and toddlers, that are voluntary, third sector, parent or peer led or unregulated private providers delivering a service or activity directly to children and young people at Level 4 only. 

This guidance is also to assist those delivering supervised activities and services for children and young people, babies and toddlers, where parents remain present during the activity to aid child interaction, where that service can be safely delivered outdoors and where it is appropriate to do so, at Level 4.

The guidance is not an instruction for all services and activities to continue at this time, since this will be based on individual risk assessments and ability to comply with the requirements that need to be met and whether other delivery options are more suitable e.g. digital.

This guidance is not for regulated childcare settings which are registered with the Care Inspectorate or other registration body. Those services should consult guidance for early learning and childcareschool age childcarefully outdoor or childminding services.

It sets out our expectations for organisations and individuals that do not fall within the sectors that guidance is currently available for.

Organisations and service providers need to consider mitigations to ensure workplaces are safe and the transmission of the virus is minimised for both paid staff and volunteers and the general public.

It will be up to each organisation or individual to assess whether this guidance applies to their activity and what additional guidance they may need to refer to, to ensure that activity is of sufficiently low risk to undertake at this time.

Where the activity you deliver is related to a private business, such as a private tutor, then the regulations for businesses must be read in conjunction with this guidance. COVID-19 guidance on small and micro businesses.

Where an activity is classed as youth work, COVID-19 guidance on youthwork has been developed.

First published: 4 Jan 2021 Last updated: 12 Mar 2021 -