Yes – in line with what we understand from the English and Welsh Governments, we are hopeful that we will be permitted to run in-person residential events this summer. Therefore we continue to plan our holidays as advertised.
We are hoping to run our 2021 holidays in as close a way to previous years as possible, with the usual mixture of first-class activities, brilliant fun, great friendships, excellent food and a chance to explore the Christian faith.
However, we are realistic that the Covid-19 pandemic is likely to have some impact on how we run our holidays, so we are planning accordingly…
The English and Welsh Governments and the National Youth Agency are yet to provide updated guidance for running residential activity holidays this summer (see latest guidance below). As and when this guidance is published, we will be ensuring we implement both the legal requirements and best practice for the safe running of all our holidays.
The most likely scenario is that some increased hygiene measures will be required and we may need children and leaders to have taken a test before arriving on one of our holidays.
We will continue to monitor government guidance with regards to things such as further testing during the holiday, social distancing measures, the wearing of face coverings and the use of ‘bubbles’.
Where we use external activity providers or centres, we will, of course, be ensuring that they are Covid-secure.
Our teams are making every effort to ensure our holidays are as enjoyable as normal. Many of our usual activities will still be running and we are working creatively to provide a full, fun and engaging programme. We are confident that our holiday experience will be as memorable as ever.
However, if Covid restrictions for some reason mean our holidays cannot operate in such a manner, then we will explore options for running shorter or smaller or non-residential or virtual events instead.
As guidelines are published and requirements become known, we will update our website and keep parents of those booked in to our holidays informed by email. Specific information will be included in final holiday communications.
In these circumstances we will follow the latest Government guidelines. Currently that would mean:
Before the holiday begins…
…if a child or leader displays COVID-19 symptoms, or tests positive, they will not be able to attend.
…if a child or leader is required to self-isolate due to coming into close contact with someone who has tested positive, they will not be able to attend until their self-isolation period has ended.
During the holiday…
…if a child or leader displays symptoms, they will be required to self-isolate immediately and leave the holiday as soon as possible. If they subsequently test positive and the holiday is still in progress then their associated bubble or close contacts will be required to return home.
After the holiday…
…if we are made aware that a child or leader has developed symptoms within 48 hours of the holiday ending, and subsequently tested positive, we will notify those in their bubble who will then need to self-isolate.
[N.B. These measures are in line with current Government guidelines which may change before holidays begin (see latest guidance below)]
We appreciate that making plans at this time of uncertainty is difficult, so please be assured that should we have to cancel a holiday as a result of Covid-19, then a full refund of any monies paid (including the deposit) will be made.
We are now a member of ‘Protected Trust Services’, which means holiday fees for new bookings paid after January 2021 are kept in an independent trust account that we do not have access to. This offers added protection as it guarantees fees would be returned if we were not able to run an event for any reason in compliance with package travel regulations. Payments of bookings carried over from 2020 are still guaranteed under our previous insurance policy.
As of April 12th (Step 2 of the Government’s roadmap), these are the latest guideline documents which most closely affect the running of our holidays:
- Government Guidance for parents and carers of children attending out-of-school settings during the coronavirus (COVID19) outbreak
- National Youth Agency – Managing Youth Sector activities and spaces during Covid 19 available at https://nya.org.uk/guidance/