Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): organised activities for children

Published: 7 Dec 2020
Last updated: 17 May 2021 - see all updates

Guidance for the safe running of organised activities for children and young people.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): organised activities for children


This guidance is under review and will be updated to reflect the current situation.

On Tuesday 5 January 2021, mainland Scotland moved from Level 4 to a temporary Lockdown. We published updated guidance for this new lockdown period (updated 12 March 2021).


This guidance is for organised unregulated activities and services provided indoors and outdoors for children and young people under 18 years, including babies and toddlers, by voluntary, third sector, parent / peer led or unregulated providersIt includes activities where parent/carers are present during the session to facilitate child interaction.  This guidance has been updated to include maximum numbers and organised activities allowed at each level. No indoor organised activities are permitted at level 4.

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.

Read the guidance for group work or education for antenatal or postnatal care that is delivered within a health or care setting.

When considering indoor activity, other delivery options should continue to be fully considered at this time including outdoor and online activity which minimises contacts and reduce risks of transmission. 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 as safe as possible and the risk of virus transmission is minimised for both paid staff and volunteers. 

Because of the complexity of this landscape of activity, it is not possible  to disaggregate types of activity into particular sub-sectors. The venues, size, age ranges and type of activity vary even within specific types of activity. 

Club sizes may range from very small clubs with a handful of children and 1 adult to much larger groups with children attending from multiple primary and secondary schools within a community and across a wide range of ages.

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. This should be done after carrying out relevant risk assessments and reference to the most up to date guidance.

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.

Where we are now

The guidance is not an instruction for all services and activities to open up at this time, since this will be based on the requirements that need to be met, relevant to each individual delivery setting.

The maximum number of people who can take part in an organised activity for children and young people, that is unregulated and not covered by any other guidance, at any one time are capped for each protection level as set out in the Coronavirus (COVID-19): Strategic Framework update.

Recognising the particular needs of babies and toddlers, this guidance now sets out the maximum number of adults who can attend indoor parent/ baby and toddler groups and associated organised activities at any one time, where all children are under 5. 

Some activities are still restricted based on additional advice from the Advisory sub group on Education and Children on singing, music and drama and more detail is provided in the relevant sections. 

No indoor organised activities for children covered by this guidance are permitted at Level 4, but they can continue outdoors.

Other sector specific guidance

First published: 7 Dec 2020 Last updated: 17 May 2021 -