To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans the Government has to prioritise removing all limits to group sizes for youth residential activities under Step 4 of the covid-19 roadmap on 19 July 2021.
The Department recognises the significant benefits that youth residentials and summer camps can have for children’s mental health and wellbeing, as well as their educational and social development.
That is why the Government has prioritised the recommencement of residential visits, including youth residentials and summer camps, for children at Step 3 of the roadmap. It has also increased limits on group sizes to 30 from 21 June 2021.
As the Government moves to Step 4 of the roadmap, and the majority of COVID-19 restrictions across all parts of society are relaxed, key restrictions on all education and childcare settings will come to an end. This includes current advice on consistent groups (bubbles) and limits on group sizes for all residential visits. Our priority is to ensure all education and childcare settings are able to offer high quality, face to face provision for children and young people.
At Step 4 of the roadmap, youth residential providers will be able to undertake residential visits in groups of any number, and without the need to keep children in consistent groups: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-response-summer-2021-roadmap/covid-19-response-summer-2021.
The Department has published new guidance for providers, setting out the actions they can take to reduce the risk of transmission from Step 4: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/999758/OOSS_Provider_Guidance_PDF_Step_4.pdf.