A Youth Scotland network update on operations and support during the Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic

Guidance and Support for Community-Based Youth Work During Covid-19

Updated: 17/01/2022

Updates to rules and guidance from 17/01/22

The Scottish Government has updated advice and self-isolation rules, in light of the omicron variant:

From the Scottish Government website:

Evidence shows that the new, highly transmissible Omicron strain of COVID-19 can infect those who have been vaccinated, or previously infected.

Additional legal restrictions and guidance have been introduced to slow down transmission, keep as many businesses and services open as possible, and protect against pressure on health services. 

Main points:

  • there are capacity limits on larger events (excluding places of worship)
  • adult non-professional contact sports are not allowed in indoor spaces
  • there must be at least a metre distance between groups (of up to 3 households) in all indoor and outdoor hospitality and leisure settings like bars, restaurants, theatres, music venues, cinemas and gyms
  • table service is needed where alcohol is served for consumption on the premises
  • night clubs must close - they have the option of staying open without dancing but table service and 1 metre physical distancing between groups need to be in place

You should also:

  • try to limit the number of contacts you would normally have and if you meet indoors limit the gathering to no more than 3 households
  • avoid crowded places – shop at quieter times where possible and follow the enhanced precautions in shops and hospitality venues, which may include controlled entrances and exits to limit customer numbers, and signs and floor markings to help people keep a safe distance from others
  • work from home if you can
  • take a lateral flow test before you visit someone in hospital or a care home or to accompany someone to medical appointments

You should also follow other rules and guidance on the main covid landing page

Changes to self-isolation rules

The self-isolation rules in Scotland now make provision for an early exit from self-isolation, following two negative Lateral Flow Tests (LFT). Full details are available on the website, but are summarised here:

If you have symptoms, you should self-isolate immediately and book a PCR test. If you test positive, you should self-isolate for 10 days from the date your symptoms started.

Where face coverings should be worn

We have made face coverings mandatory in most indoor public places, indoor communal spaces including retail, restaurants, cafes, bars and public houses, and in workplaces and on public transport. This is because transmission is most likely to occur when people are close to each other, in crowded and poorly ventilated places. Schedule 7 of the Regulations provides more information about the relevant provisions.

You must, by law, wear a face covering in the following places:

  • health and social care settings, including staff, patients and visitors 
  • public transportservice and premises
  • workplaces (other than early learning or school settings) 
  • any premises open to members of the public and used for the retail sale or hire of goods or services, such as shops, takeaway restaurants, pharmacies, estate agents, beauty parlours and shopping malls
  • hospitality premises such as bars, pubs and cafes and restaurants, and canteens (including workplace canteens)
  • banks, building societies, credit unions and post offices
  • courts and tribunal buildings
  • places of worship
  • visitor attractions, indoor tourist, heritage or cultural sites such as museums and galleries, aquariums, indoor zoos or visitor farms,
  • entertainment venues such as cinemas, indoor theatres, comedy clubs, concert halls, soft play centres, bingo halls, bowling alleys, amusement arcades, snooker and pool halls, and other leisure facilities, indoor funfairs and indoor skating rinks
  • community centres
  • crematoriums and funeral directors' premises
  • libraries and public reading rooms
  • storage and distribution facilities, including collection and drop-off points
  • indoor fitness studios, gyms, swimming pools or other indoor leisure centres
  • sports stadiums
  • conference or exhibition centres

Wearing face coverings in other spaces

While face coverings are mandatory in most indoor communal places, you are advised to wear a face covering in all other indoor places. 

It is recommended that you wear face coverings outdoors in crowded spaces and where physical distancing is not always possible, such as at the school gate or at the entrance to a building

As was previously the case youth work organisations should ensure that young people age 12 and over (or who are in S1) are aware of the requirement to wear a face covering in indoor areas. Organisations should help all young people understand the importance of face coverings this in preventing infection transmission.


Youth Work Specific Guidance

Since the first lockdown began, Youth Scotland has worked to provide community-based youth work with an easy, accessible overview of the appropriate guidance for our sector. Additionally, we have provided useful resources and advice from other partners.

Youth work is now permitted indoors and outdoors, in line with the move beyond Level 0. Our recommendation remains that youth workers should continue to refer to the Guiding Framework to support the delivery of youth work services, in particular Expectations before delivery on page 13, and:

  • Following a risk assessment, a space-based approach should be taken in line with capacity guidance. Numbers permitted are to be based on the capacity of the venue provided physical distancing and other mitigations remain in place.
  • Youth work leaders should make use of the range of Scottish Government and other national guidance available to support safe delivery of youth work e.g. Scottish Government events, or schools guidance, Sports Scotland guidance.
  • This may support the use of specific activities within youth work delivery, or in determining capacity within outdoor spaces.

Residential youth work and school trips

There will continue to be separate guidelines for school trips and residential visits for school-aged children

Prior to resuming face-to-face youth activities

The ‘Expectations before delivery’ section of the Guiding Framework to support the delivery of youth work services remains a useful resource, with appropriate suggestions beyond restrictions.

Good communication with young people and their parents or carers can set expectations and ensure that safety questions and concerns can be dealt with.

Youth Scotland Resources

Digital Youth Work

We expect digital youth work to remain part of community-based youth work for the foreseeable future. Groups may be reluctant or unable to resume face-to-face youth work at this stage. Youth Scotland has some valuable resources available to support this further down this page. We also regularly run online training to support workers

Digital Youth Work and Safe Online Working

During lockdown, digital youth work will return to being the most common form of delivery for many groups. The following advice and resources help support these activities.

Advice on safe digital youth work

On this page, you can download a quick guide on suggestions and advice for safe online youth work. We are asked: how can we reach young people digitally? How can we do it safely? What activities can we arrange online when our youth centres are closed? Safeguarding the young people, you work with and keeping yourself safe are still top priorities.

Youth Highland, our Area Association partner have produced a guide from their experience of working online. It also includes their views on social media and other digital tools - download at the foot of this page.

Cyber security advice from Police Scotland

Police Scotland have issued some very accessible cyber security videos that their colleagues in the City of London Police have shared. The videos cover: Phishing, Vishing, Multi-Factor Authentication, Passwords, Software updates, Social engineering and Securing your router. The topics may sound daunting, but the videos avoid jargon and explain things clearly. See the download at the foot of this page.

Cyber Incident Response Planning

The CyberScotland Partnership have published a Cyber Incident Response Pack to provide practical advice to businesses on how to handle a cyber-related incident. The documents will compliment any existing Incident Response Plan or can assist organisation in creating one.

Best suited for small businesses or charities that don’t have in-house incident response teams, the easily digestible pack includes longer length advisory pieces on reputation management and legal considerations. It also contains checklists and editable documents which centralise the important contacts businesses must speak with when experiencing a cyber incident.

See below for a copy of this document.

Outdoor Activities and Outdoor Youth Work

Many groups have begun to enjoy a return to outdoor meetings and activities. To support this, we produced some handy, fun and FREE guides that remain useful beyond any restrictions.

Youth Scotland's Outdoor Games Film Tutorial

 Young girl pointing at user with playground in the background

Get ready to have fun with your youth group outside with our new FREE Outdoor Games Session tutorial film! In less than 15 minutes, you can learn some safe, fun outdoor games activities you can do with your groups, with social distancing, hand hygiene and safe use of equipment.

Developed with support from CashBack for Communities, these games require either no equipment or minimal equipment and we will talk you through how to use the equipment safely. Where possible, we have also added instructions on how to play online!

To access the Outdoor Games Film for FREE, register here and you will be emailed a link to the Outdoor Games Film. 

Youth Scotland’s Guide to Detached Youth Work

This pack is for youth workers who are interested in detached youth work, whether they are already a detached youth worker or wanting to develop detached youth work. This pack looks at the practicalities of detached youth work and the benefits of it.

Youth Scotland’s Guide to Out and About Youth Work

This pack is for groups who are interested in outdoor activities. The outdoors can be a great place to learn and have fun and can make a significant contribution to the health and wellbeing of young people and adults. Positive experiences can generate an interest in the outdoors which goes far beyond the boundaries of your youth group.


Other Useful Information

The following resources are available for groups during the pandemic and beyond.

Child Protection Additional Guidance from Scottish Government

Scottish Government are advising that there is likely to be a rise in child protection concerns due to the impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic on families and wider society.

In light of this, Scottish Government have issues some additional Covid-19 guidance which supplements the National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland

Occupational Risk Assessment Guidance

This guidance, from Scottish Government, explains the risk assessment process in relation to the specific risk of COVID-19 to individuals in the workplace. In particular, this is relevant to those staff members who are returning to work after shielding, those who are returning to normal duties after COVID-19 related restrictions, those who are returning to the workplace after working from home or anyone who has a concern about a particular vulnerability to COVID-19. There are three things which affect the occupational health risk from COVID-19. Download the guide below.


More guidance will be available on this page, among other sources. To ensure you know about the guidance as soon as it’s made available, follow us on Twitter Facebook and sign up to our E-newsletter  

Pages and links:



Youth Scotland - Beyond Level 0 Guide.docx

  • Date created: Fri 27 Aug 2021
  • File size: 1 mb

Youth Scotland's Guide to Detached Youth Work.pdf

  • Date created: Fri 04 Sep 2020
  • File size: 1 mb

Youth Scotland's Guide to Out and About youth work.pdf

  • Date created: Fri 04 Sep 2020
  • File size: 810 kb

Youth Scotland Wellbeing toolkit WEB.PDF

  • Date created: Mon 30 Nov 2020
  • File size: 490 kb

17 May-example-risk-assessment-reopening-indoor-youth-work.docx

  • Date created: Fri 14 May 2021
  • File size: 74 kb


  • Date created: Fri 14 May 2021
  • File size: 77 kb

Outdoor Games Session Risk Assessment - 12-03-2021 National Youth Work Guidance.docx

  • Date created: Fri 19 Mar 2021
  • File size: 51 kb

Quick Tips for Online Youth Work (20200401).pdf

  • Date created: Wed 01 Apr 2020
  • File size: 262 kb

Example Covid-19 Signs.docx

  • Date created: Fri 04 Sep 2020
  • File size: 633 kb

Example Floor Plan - (COVID-19).pdf

  • Date created: Fri 04 Sep 2020
  • File size: 119 kb

Police Scotland - Free Cyber Security Videos.pdf

  • Date created: Wed 15 Apr 2020
  • File size: 506 kb

Cyber Alert - Incident Response Plan.docx

  • Date created: Fri 27 Aug 2021
  • File size: 62 kb

CPNI - CV 19 - Workplace Action Posters - All.pdf

  • Date created: Fri 04 Sep 2020
  • File size: 2 mb


  • Date created: Thu 01 Oct 2020
  • File size: 1 mb

How to prepare for a virtual AGM.pdf

  • Date created: Thu 05 Aug 2021
  • File size: 89 kb

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