Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): organised activities for children

Published: 5 Oct 2020
Last updated: 13 Oct 2020 - see all updates

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

Coronavirus (COVID-19): organised activities for children


Mother/baby groups: this guidance was updated on 5 October 2020 to provide information on the maximum number of adults who can attend indoor mother/baby groups and associated organised activities, at any one time.


The First Minister announced that Scotland would be entering a lockdown on 23 March 2020. Under law, the Scottish Government must review that lockdown at least every three weeks. The Coronavirus (COVID-19): framework for decision making – Scotland’s route map through and out of the crisis, was published on 21 May and sets out the phases by which we will aim to ease lockdown. They will be gradual and incremental and will be matched with careful monitoring of the virus.

As we continue to move through the phases of Scotland’s route map for easing restrictions on lockdown, it is possible for businesses and organisations to open premises and resume services where it is appropriate to do so. As announced on 20 August, indoor activities for children and young people (unregulated) can begin from Monday 31 August where guidance has been produced and can be adhered to.

This guidance is for unregulated activities and services provided indoors and outdoors for children and young people, including babies and toddlers, that are voluntary, third sector, parent or peer led or unregulated providers delivering a service or activity directly to children under 18.

This guidance is to assist those delivering supervised activities and services for children and young people, babies and toddlers, including those where parents remain present during the activity, and where that service or activity is unregulated, to resume indoor and outdoor ace-to-face activities, where it is appropriate to do so. 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.

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 childcare, school age childcare, fully outdoor or childminding services.

It is not for health professional led support, group work or education for antenatal or postnatal care that is delivered within a health or care setting. Read more about the remobilisation of maternity and neonatal services.

When considering indoor activity, other delivery options should continue to be fully considered at this time including outdoor and on-line 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 safe and the transmission of the virus is minimised for both paid staff and volunteers. If your activity is delivered in a ‘public space’ then you should read the definition of Community Centre to ensure you know who has the overall responsibility for safe opening up of premises.

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. 

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 youthwork, other guidance has been developed.

Separate guidance will be produced for soft play providers.

Details on which sectors and workplaces can prepare to, or are able to return to work are available at:

Where we are now

Recognising the particular needs of babies and infants, this guidance now sets out the maximum number of adults who can attend indoor parent and baby groups and associated organised activities at any one time.  As of 5 October and subject to content of this guidance and the following conditions being met, the maximum number of adults who can attend has been set to 10. Read more about parent and baby groups

The number of people who can take part in indoor (and outdoor) organised activity for children and young people, that is unregulated, at any one time has also been updated, including referencing to households and appropriate physical distancing measures. Under 12’s are included in household numbers both indoor and outdoor, and number of people allowed indoors at any one time. 

To include reference to outdoor organised activities for children and young people that is not covered by any other guidance.

To remove the option to deliver an organised activity in someone else’s or your own home. 

The Advisory sub group on Education and Children has provided additional advice on singing, music and drama and the relevant sections have been updated. COVID19- Advisory Sub Group on Education Advice

We have added a definition for a ‘public space’ and a further reference to the community centre guidance has been added, and who has overall responsibility for the premises, where they are not owned by the organisation/club/service provider.

Other sector specific guidance

First published: 5 Oct 2020 Last updated: 13 Oct 2020 -