The first step in returning to face-to-face guiding is to assess the risks.

Last updated: 16 September 2020

(Click here to download the Be Prepared, Be COVID-19 aware web pages)

1. Look local

Find out if there is any official advice for youth groups in your area or advice from your National Association.

If other youth groups that have already returned to face-to-face meetings, find out what you can learn from this. And whether you are able to access local support in your area


  • What are the local, national or WHO guidelines are for young groups meeting in-person?
  • How many members can meet at one time?
  • Is it practical for you to meet in a safe open outdoors space?

2. Survey the space

Look at the place you usually meet, you may need to change your approach depending on whether this space is open to the public or is a private space. What changes do you have to make to ensure that your members are kept safe?

Complete a risk assessment, for your space to ensure you are doing everything practical to manage transmission were possible.

Remember to be flexible, and be prepared to change your plans to follow the guidelines and regulations of your local authority. If you meet in a place owned by another organisation, you may also need to follow their policies and safety regulations.


  • Whether you need to meet in person or if your group can complete the intended activities remotely.
  • How you will put recommended measures in place in place to stay healthy; such as - frequent hand washing stations, face coverings, social distancing.
  • Are you able to ensure the safety of your whole group? Especially those with additional needs and health requirements.

3. Group Guidelines

Work with your Girl Guides and Girl Scouts to update your group guidelines. It is essential that you involve them in the creation process and create a plan with them rather than for them.

Many people returning to in-person Girl Guiding and Girl scouting may be anxious as they adjust to a 'new normal’. Creating a brave space with clear guidelines allows everyone to stay safe.


  • Whether you can adapt your current group guidelines rather than starting from zero.
  • How you will remind everyone that is it their responsibility to keep the agreed guidelines in order to protect everyone and stay safe.

How are Girl Guide and Girl Scout Organisations around the world assessing risks and making the decision to return back to physical Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting.?

We spoke to different Girl Guide and Girl Scout Associations and asked how they made the decision to return to face-to-face Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting.

As COVID-19 came under control and the government eased restrictions on gatherings and travel, we issued new guidelines for our unit leaders (again strictly adhering to Government requirements). This included cleaning and hygiene, social distancing and limits on numbers per meeting. Leaders were allowed to make decisions about running groups based on their experience of the suitability of their venues and whether social distancing would be possible (including at pick up and drop off times when car parks may be full with parents) along with full adherence to the requirements. Some leaders decided not to hold face to face meetings as they were immune-compromised while in other situations venues were unsuitable. In those instances Guiding continued via Zoom/virtually.

GirlGuiding Newzealnd (A Community-based Association)
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Kuwait Girl Guides Association (A School based Association)

In order for us to continue the activities and programs of the Girl Guides at all levels and return together, we held a remote meeting with the President of the Kuwait Girl Guides Association and the Board of Directors.

The decision was presented and everyone agreed that to return safely all members must follow precautionary measures. This includes; leaving a safe distance apart, wearing masks and gloves, when meeting face to face and not exceeding (4) members for each meeting.

We decided to restart Guiding because the government had reopened schools. There were also fewer risks as the number of infected was declining.

Mouvement des Guides et Eclaireuses du Niger (A Community based Association)

The Girl Scouts of Taiwan (A School and Community based Association)

We decided to return to face-to-face activity based on government regulations. Each unit decides how to return to face-to-face activities based on their own risk assessment. HQ does not provide the risk assessment format, as completing risk assessments is part of the usual basic leaders’ training.

We followed the instructions given to us by the Supreme Committee in charge of examining the mechanism for dealing with developments resulting from the spread of the Covid-19. There were national government guidelines and a framework in relation to dealing with the pandemic.

Oman Scouts and Guides (A School based Association)
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