Safely planning youth activities and spaces during COVID 19

New advice released allows increased levels of youth sector activity in England. The permitted level of activity has moved to amber from red under guidance published by the National Youth Agency (NYA).

Publishing the Amber Alert guidance today NYA CEO Leigh Middleton said:

Our aim is to enable the youth sector to provide much needed activities with young people. It is essential that all activities operate within government public health and safety measures. NYA has therefore produced guidance and resources to help plan, prepare and safely deliver activity. Those organisations that adhere to measures specified by NYA will be able to increase their activity, effective from 4th July.

The youth sector is ready to do more. As the national, regulatory body NYA will keep the guidance under constant review to support the vital work of the youth sector and to ensure the safety of young people, youth workers and volunteers.

From 4th July 2020 permitted levels of activity in England are:

  • Online and digital youth services
  • Detached local youth activities (consistent with social distancing guidelines)
  • 1-2-1 sessions with young people indoors
  • Small group sessions delivered indoors (consistent with social distancing guidelines)
  • Overnight stays will not be permitted

This formal advice, to complement government guidance, is supported by the Youth Sector Readiness toolkit for safely planning youth activities and spaces during COVID 19.

Under the Amber Alert rating, following completion of an action plan and risk assessment (consistent with the NYA guidance on managing youth sector activities and spaces during COVID-19):

  1. Individuals may gather indoors or outdoors, provided there are no more than 15 people per group. Where possible, the groups should be smaller.
  2. In venues that are large enough strict adherence to the specified measures in NYA guidance would permit multiple bubbles (of no more than 15 people each)
  3. However, groups may not stay under canvas as part of a structured youth sector activity. Youth sector activities are excluded from current camping permit regulations that apply to family households.

Further details on safety measures, risk management and planning for youth sector activities are updated on a regular basis in line with the latest government guidance. This is available on NYA’s website:

For media enquires contact:

Notes to the editor

  • National Youth Agency (NYA) is the Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body for youth work in
  • Youth sector organisations typically work with young people aged 8 to 25 years, although other age groups are recognised.
  • Youth sector activities are run by local groups, charities, community organisations and local authorities or as part of national programmes. The guidance applies only to England.
  • Types of activity include, for example, youth clubs, street-based youth work, peer-led youth groups, uniformed youth groups, youth councils, digital/online services, outdoor education and residential trips.
  • National associations for specific types of organisations (uniformed, etc.) and activities may have additional advice and guidance to safeguard young people and in related areas of sports, culture and the arts, which are included in or make use of facilities for youth activities.
  • Users of the NYA guide must ensure they operate within the law, social distancing guidelines and meet their specific duties and responsibilities to stakeholders. It is for each organisational unit to make its own local decisions on how to apply the advice included. NYA cannot be held accountable for local decisions reached based on this guidance. The guidance does not supersede any legal obligations relating to health and safety, employment or equalities; it provides non-statutory guidance to consider when complying with these obligations. A full legal statement is included in the guidance document.
  • Users should ensure they are using the most up-to-date version of this document and can check this at any time via the NYA website.
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