Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): organised activities for children

Published: 7 Dec 2020
Last updated: 4 Jan 2021 - see all updates

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

Coronavirus (COVID-19): organised activities for children


From Tuesday 5 January, mainland Scotland will move from Level 4 to a temporary Lockdown. We have produced updated guidance for this new lockdown period.


This guidance is for organised 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. The First Minister announced  Coronavirus (COVID-19) Scotland's Strategic Framework on 2 October. 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 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 to aid child interaction, and where that service or activity is unregulated, to resume indoor and outdoor face-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 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 safe and the transmission of the virus 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. 

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 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 COVID-19 strategic framework.

Recognising the particular needs of babies and young children, 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: 4 Jan 2021 -