Extracurricular Activities: Coronavirus

Department for Education written question – answered on 28th June 2021.

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Photo of Lord Lexden Lord Lexden Deputy Chairman of Committees, Deputy Speaker (Lords)

To ask Her Majesty's Government what restrictions will apply to camps for schoolchildren this summer under COVID-19 regulations.

Photo of Baroness Berridge Baroness Berridge Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade) (Minister for Women), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

Since 17 May, all out of school settings, which includes youth residentials and summer camps, have been able to undertake residential visits for children. From 21 June, these settings have been able to do so in groups of 30 children, in line with the position for school residential visits. The Department has provided updated guidance on ‘Protective measures for holiday or after-school clubs and other out-of-school settings for children’, which sets out how providers can conduct residential visits safely. The guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protective-measures-for-holiday-or-after-school-clubs-and-other-out-of-school-settings-for-children-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, the Government has listened carefully to the views of the scientific community, in particular from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and its subgroups, when taking decisions on the best way to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak. Gathering in larger groups, including as part of residential visits, does increase the risk of transmission. COVID-19 spreads more easily indoors, especially over prolonged periods, for example in shared sleeping arrangements, which increases the risk of residential visits. The Department continues to keep these restrictions under constant review and will ensure they remain proportionate to the threat to public health posed by COVID-19.

It is important that education and childcare settings continue to be supported with appropriate guidance on safety measures. The Department remains committed to ensuring that schools and colleges can effectively manage risks, create an inherently safer environment, and that we can maximise face-to-face education wherever possible. As new evidence or data emerges, the Government will act accordingly to ensure that all settings have the right safety measures in place.

The advice on residential visits will be reviewed again in advance of Step 4.

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