You will no doubt be aware that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation continues to develop around the world. Today, the Government changed the response phase to 'delay' and issued further advice. Please always use the latest Government advice as your primary reference.
In this email, I have reiterated the guidance I sent on 26 February 2020, and I have also included some additional updates.
I understand members will have questions about how Coronavirus (COVID-19) will affect how we operate Scouts here in the UK. These questions may be about holding weekly Scout meetings, running events or jamborees or upcoming international trips and expeditions.
We must continue to respond to the developing situation in a calm, measured and appropriate way.
Government Health Advice
Self-isolation: Just like everyone else, our members should follow the standard advice on self-isolation, which was updated today.
Appropriate decisions for your local area: The safety of everyone involved in Scouts is our number one priority. As always, that should be at the heart of our decision making. Please regularly check the Government advice, monitor the situation in your local areas, and make proportionate local decisions relating to Scout activities. For example, if a local school has closed due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) risk, it is probably appropriate to stop meetings, activities and events in that area temporarily.
Day of Celebration at Windsor: We are continuing to monitor Government advice, and at the moment there are no changes to communicate concerning the Day of Celebration at Windsor on 26 April 2020. This situation may change. If that is the case, we will let those that are affected know as soon as possible.
Event organisers: If you or your team are organising any Scout events, please make sure you regularly read the latest Government advice. You should then update your risk assessments if necessary and ensure you have considered appropriate steps in relation to insurance. You will need to monitor the situation and make proportionate local decisions.
Jamborees and other large events: Essex Jamboree has announced it has cancelled the event; updates are available here. If applicable, we suggest you regularly check the websites of other relevant large-scale events for specific updates from the organisers.
European Jamboree: The organisers of the European Jamboree 2020 in Poland have shared this update and continue to add to their frequently asked questions on the changing situation here. If applicable, please continue to monitor these updates.
Returning from abroad: The Government Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage advises on what to do if people have returned from areas affected by the virus. Please check the advice and the list of countries. Just like everyone else, our members should follow the standard advice on self-isolation if that is applicable.
Scout trips abroad: As well as the Government Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website has the latest information, guidance and travel advice, along with details of any restrictions – which should be followed.
Travel insurance: The Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation may have implications for your travel insurance. Check with your insurers directly about the levels of cover and verify that the trip continues to have appropriate insurance as the situation develops. If you have taken insurance through Unity, they have provided an update here.
As always, I want to say a big thank you for everything you do for Scouts. By checking and following the latest Government advice and by taking a calm and measured approach, we can continue to ensure that young people and adults stay safe.
UK Chief Commissioner