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Guidance for organisers of activities for children and young people aged 18 and under.

First published:
26 March 2021
Last updated:

What are organised children’s activities and are they allowed? 

Organised children’s activities, known as regulated gatherings in the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No. 5) (Wales) Regulations) 2020, encompass a broad range of activities attended by children and young people, held for their development and well-being. This applies to all persons who were aged under 18 on 31 August 2020. 

Examples of organised children’s activities could include attendance at sports clubs, drama classes, parent and toddler groups, youth groups and religious groups. Organised children’s activities would not generally include children’s parties, or wider gatherings of families and friends. Anyone planning a party should consider the wider rules on regulated gatherings and read the guidance on children and young people's parties.

These activities are usually run by a business, a public body or charitable institution, a club, or the national governing body of a sport or other activity, and generally held in regulated premises. Clubs used as childcare, such as holiday or wrap-around childcare, can continue.

Can premises offering supervised children’s activities indoors open?

Yes, these activities can now take place indoors and outdoors.

The operators of all these services must take all reasonable measures to manage risk and maintain social distancing and hand and respiratory hygiene. This includes looking at the types of activities that can take place. For example, where activities include dancing, using dance moves that avoid direct contact or practice individual skills. When singing, face to face singing should be avoided, and social distancing should be maintained. Singing should take place outdoors where possible.

Those responsible for indoor premises and outdoor grounds should avoid running consecutive activities, and give an appropriate amount of time for all those participating in one session to have left the area before starting another. This is important to reduce levels of transmission, and the level of time needed between activities will depend on the activity, the attendees and the space used.

If you run your activities outdoors, you can use facilities and equipment kept indoors. You and those using your services should follow all of the rules on the safe operation of those premises when accessing them, including restricting numbers and entrance/exits, the wearing of face coverings, and keeping time spent indoors to a minimum.

Are indoor play areas open?

Indoor play areas including indoor play centres, soft play and trampoline parks are open. 

Who can take part in these activities?

Children and young people aged under 18 on 31 August 2020 can now take part in supervised activities indoors and outdoors.

Adults, including volunteers and qualified professionals, may attend these activities where they are involved in running them, where the children are too young to be left or where the activity requires their participation such as a parent and baby group. Adults, including parents, should maintain social distancing indoors (and outdoors if a venue requires it as a reasonable measure) and adhere to hand and respiratory hygiene rules at all times and wear face coverings indoors (unless they have an exemption), and numbers should be restricted to those required to ensure the safe running of the activity.

How many children can take part?

There are currently no set limits on the numbers of children that can take part in these activities. However, organisers should be mindful of the space available and the requirements to take all reasonable measures to minimise exposure to coronavirus, including social distancing and hand washing requirements, and ensure they limit the number of places to that which can be safely accommodated in the space available.

For information about face coverings please see our additional guidance (face coverings: guidance for the public). Face coverings are not a replacement for effective and regular handwashing and social distancing.

What can organisers do to reduce the risks?

Organisers of these activities have a duty to take all reasonable measures to ensure these activities take place in a way that minimises exposure to coronavirus. Therefore, they must consider the space available to allow social distancing wherever possible with children and young people and to limit the number who can attend in order to achieve that, allowing for 2 metre distancing between children in indoor places. They should also try to undertake as much of the activity outdoors as is practicable. While activities can restart outdoors and indoors, organisers should remember, virtual meetings are still safer and should continue to be used where possible.

Will children need to socially distance?

We know social distancing can be harder for children and young people, and particularly so for the very young. However, wherever possible efforts should be made to socially distance indoors, and the numbers in attendance should always reflect the indoor space available, allowing for 2 metre distance between each person. There is no requirement to socially distance outdoors, but you may wish to consider keeping a distance from people you don’t normally mix with.

Can parents remain in the area when the activity is taking place?

Many parents will want or need to stay in the area while their children are participating in these activities, including to support or watch their children as they play sports or undertake other activities.

Where this happens parents should maintain social distancing at all times indoors, and consider socially distancing from other adults when outdoors as a personal precaution, and when an outdoor venue requires it as a reasonable measure. Supporters and other spectators should generally be limited to only those persons who need to attend, e.g. parents or guardians of children who require their attendance for health or safeguarding reasons. Where a small number of spectators do have a reasonable excuse to attend, they are to remain physically distanced from each other and from those participating in the activity at all times, including accessing and leaving the venue, use of any facilities (wearing face coverings as appropriate where facilities are indoors or where the activity takes place indoors) and whilst watching. Any such spectators should be discouraged from shouting, cheering etc to reduce the risk of viral spread.

Can parent and baby/toddler groups meet?

For parent and toddler groups and for parent and baby classes, organisers should follow all guidance in these FAQs and the reasonable measures to minimise exposure to coronavirus, including social distancing, face coverings (unless a person is exempt) and handwashing requirements, avoiding shared items, and ensuring they limit the number of places to that which can be safely accommodated in the space available.

The group facilitator must consider the space available to allow for socially distanced interaction of the parents, how much time will be spent in people’s company and the level of ventilation to determine the number of people taking part in the group. Parents should arrive and leave promptly, and should continue to follow the rules on social distancing and handwashing.

Can children attend residential activities?

Up to 30 children from organisations, such as the Brownies and Scouts, can undertake residential visits over the summer holidays. Supervisors and group leaders are in addition to the 30 children who can participate.

Organisers have a duty to take all reasonable measures to ensure that these activities take place in a way that minimises exposure to coronavirus. Therefore, risk assessments should consider the space available to allow social distancing indoors (and outdoors if the risk assessment identifies this as a reasonable measure) as far as is possible with children and limit the number of children that can attend. Additionally, they must ensure that parents or guardians are aware there is an increased risk associated with mixing and staying overnight. This will enable them to make an informed decision when considering allowing children to attend these activities. For further information, refer to the Coronavirus recent and upcoming changes

Can people travel to attend residential activities or travel during these activities?

Yes. However, shared transport should be avoided. Wherever possible children, parents and organisers should avoid car sharing and lifts to attend these activities. If shared transport is essential to facilitate the activity, organisers should follow the rules on school transport. When using public transport people should follow the rules on the use of face coverings for those over 11.

Am I able to access free tests to run these activities, in the same way that staff in schools and childcare settings can access tests?

Can I plan a children’s party?

Organised children’s activities would not generally include children’s parties, or wider gatherings of families and friends. Read the guidance on parties.

Someone who attended an activity I run has tested positive for coronavirus. What should I do?

Organisers should follow the record keeping guidance when taking bookings for activities. When informed of a positive case of coronavirus theyu should follow the rules on Test, Trace and Protect. Organisers who have been in close contact with the person who has tested positive should self-isolate when recommended to do so by TTP.

Anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus, has tested positive, has been told by Test Trace Protect that they are a contact of a positive case or lives with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive should self-isolate immediately and seek a test,. Where people test positive it will also be important that they tell contact tracers where they have been to allow all close contacts to be traced. Where the symptomatic person is a child their school and / or childcare setting should be informed.

Where a number of cases are seen in relation to a specific activity, either at once or over a period of time, organisers should review their risk assessments to see if modifications are required to the procedures.


See the coronavirus control plan: revised alert levels in Wales (July 2021) for further information on the revised changes for Wales.