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COVID Compliance Frequently Asked Questions

In preparing the below Frequently Asked Questions, we have reviewed Victorian State Government guidelines and consulted with experts both internally and externally. The safety of our Youth and Adult Members and the wider community is at the forefront of all decisions.

We encourage all Girl Guide members to conduct their Girl Guide activities in the spirit of the Guide Promise and Law to serve our community and be respectful and considerate, while also being optimistic and courageous.

If your question isn’t answered here please email it to the Joyce Price Centre (JPC) team via katie.possingham@guidesvic.org.au.

The below FAQs were published on 26 February 2021 and refer to the new restrictions which come into place from 11.59pm on Friday 26 February 2021. This page will be updated as circumstances continue to change. 

Looking for the COVID-19 Safety Plan? Check out the COVID-Safe Resources

Victoria (Metropolitan Melbourne and Regional Victoria) under COVID-19 Restrictions

Can my Unit return to normal indoor meetings?

Yes, indoor in-person Girl Guide activities may take place at Guide Halls or similar providing that the below capacity requirements are met. The COVID-19 Safety Plan must be implemented for all activities.

  • If using electronic record keeping (see below), indoor capacity is 1 person per 2m
  • If using written record keeping, indoor capacity is 1 person per 4m2

Masks must be carried by adults and children over 12 years of age at all times, and worn in accordance with State Government Guidelines.

Girl Guide Leaders are empowered to adapt and make decisions that suit their Girl Guide Unit, within the GGV COVID-Safe principles. Leaders are encouraged to communicate within their Unit to decide how to apply the GGV COVID-Safe principles.

How do I set up electronic record keeping?

In order to have 1 person per 2mat your indoor meeting venue, you need to implement electronic record keeping using the Victorian Government QR Code Service.

To do this, go online here. Register as your Unit Name. You do not need to enter the Girl Guides Victoria ABN – just skip this step.

Can parents/guardians enter the Hall to drop-off and pick-up their Girl Guide?

The recommendation is for drop-off and pick-up to occur outside of the Girl Guide Hall or indoor meeting venue – that is, that parents/guardians do not enter the Hall.

If a parent/guardian does need to enter the Hall for pick-up and drop-off (for example, due to poor weather or other safety concerns), the following guidelines must be followed:

  • The total number of people inside the meeting venue must not exceed its maximum capacity at any time (If using electronic record keeping, indoor capacity is 1 person per 2m2; if using written record keeping, indoor capacity is 1 person per 4m2).
  • The parent/guardian must wear a mask.
  • If a parent/guardian stays inside longer than 15 minutes, they must sign in (either electronically or manually).
  • Sharing pens and devices for ‘signing’ girls in and out of each Girl Guide meeting is not recommended.

Is my Guide Hall/Scout Hall/Community Centre etc. a 'private venue'?

No, your Guide Hall is not classified as a private venue and is therefore not subject to the current cap of 30 visitors per day. Private venues refer to homes, and includes front and back gardens.

As with all public/community venues, the following capacity limits apply to your Guide Hall:

  • If using electronic record keeping (see above), indoor capacity is 1 person per 2m
  • If using written record keeping, indoor capacity is 1 person per 4m2

Can my Unit hold outdoor activities, including bushwalking and canoeing?

Yes, outdoor in-person Girl Guide activities may take place with a maximum of 100 Girl Guide members, including adult Volunteers. The COVID-19 Safety Plan must be implemented for all activities.

While outdoors, masks must be carried by adults and children over 12 years of age, and are strongly recommended if 1.5m distance between people is not able to be maintained.

Girl Guide Leaders are empowered to adapt and make decisions that suit their Girl Guide Unit, within the GGV COVID-Safe principles. Leaders are encouraged to communicate within their Unit to decide how to apply the GGV COVID-Safe principles.

Do we have to wear masks at Girl Guides?

Masks must be carried by adults and children over 12 years of age, and worn in accordance with State Government Guidelines. Masks are strongly recommended if 1.5m distance between people is not able to be maintained.

My meeting venue is indoors with separate spaces. Can two (or more) groups meet at the same time?

Yes, two or more groups can meet at the same time in one indoor venue with separate spaces (e.g. separate rooms), providing:

  • The space requirements are met, AND
  • The groups do not share equipment or interact before, during, or after the event. This applies to both youth and adults.

Each group must meet ratios, which means that each group requires 2-3 adults including at least one qualified Unit Leader.

One of my Girl Guides requires an adult carer. How does this work?

If an adult carer is required to assist an individual Girl Guide in your Unit (e.g. due to disability), the carer can attend in addition to the adults required to run the activity.

Can my Unit hold overnight events like sleepovers and camps?

Yes, outdoor activities at a Girl Guide overnight event can be undertaken in a group of up to 100 Girl Guide members, including adult volunteers.

Each Girl Guide member must be allocated to a small group of up to 30 participants (including adult volunteers) for sleeping, cooking, and any indoor activities for the duration of the overnight event. Each group must meet the required ratios for an overnight event.

  • Sleeping should be undertaken in a small group of up to 30 participants. This could be multiple tents pitched adjacent to each other, a group of adjacent cabins, or as the sole occupants of a bunkhouse. For camping in tents, each group of tents should be 5 metres from any other group of tents. Tents from another group are out of bounds.
  • Cooking should be undertaken at a kitchen designated for that group’s exclusive use OR cleaned between uses. Groups can cook together and share food within their group. Each group should have their own cooking equipment that is not shared with other groups.
  • Alternatively, group catering can be undertaken for the whole 100, preferably seated outdoors. There must be no self-service, buffet-style serving.
  • Any indoor catering or other activities should be undertaken as a designated group within the density limits for the indoor space.
  • Masks must be carried by adults and children over 12 years of age, and are strongly recommended if 1.5m distance between people is not able to be maintained.

To avoid doubt, ‘outdoors’ includes an area with no roof or a roofed area with at least two fully open walls.

The COVID-19 Safety Plan must be implemented for all activities, and appropriate approval (including an OUT.01 application) must be sought for all camping and adventurous activities.

Can Girl Guides share a room or a tent at camp?

Yes, Girl Guides or Leaders from different households may share a room or a tent at camp, providing the density requirements are met:

  • If using electronic record keeping, indoor capacity is 1 person per 2m
  • If using written record keeping, indoor capacity is 1 person per 4m2

Can my Unit go to a café or a restaurant together?

Yes, Girl Guide Units, including youth members, may meet at a hospitality venue. They must follow venue guidelines and the Girl Guides Victoria COVID-Safe Principles.

Can we have food at a Girl Guide activity, such as a cooking night?

Individuals can bring their own food for their own consumption.

Food can also be provided, including food prepared by Girl Guides, as long as:

  • There is no self-service, buffet-style serving. It is recommended that one person serves food according to the GGV COVID-Safe Principles.
  • Hands are washed before and after eating/serving.
  • Utensils and crockery are thoroughly cleaned.
  • Girl Guides must be provided with their own serving and not share food.

Can my Unit sing together?

Yes, you can. Singing indoors and outdoors is permitted with the following recommendations:

  • maintaining a 2m distance between people, and
  • everyone aged 12 years old and up wears a mask.
  • Singing indoors should take place in a well ventilated room with doors and windows open.

Can my Unit travel together to an activity in a minibus?

When travelling together on a private bus, a COVID-19 Safety Plan must be implemented and everyone aged 12 years old and up must wear a mask.

Can my Unit travel together to an activity using public transport?

Yes, providing the Girl Guides Victoria COVID-Safe Principles are followed – including that everyone aged 12 years old and up wears a mask.

Can I carpool to a Girl Guide event with another Girl Guide member not in my household?

Car pooling is not recommended because of the increased risk of transmission in the enclosed space of a car. 

Can my Trefoil Guild, Olave Peer Group, or adult Volunteer Team return to normal indoor meetings?

Yes, indoor in-person activities for adults can resume with the following maximum group sizes:

  • Meetings in a Guide Hall or other community venue: 1 person per 2m2 if using electronic record keeping (see above), or 1 person per 4m2 if using written record keeping.
  • Meetings in private homes: Maximum of 30 visitors.

This includes District and Region Meetings.

Can my Trefoil Guild or Olave Peer Group hold outdoor activities including bushwalking and canoeing?

Yes, outdoor in-person adult Girl Guide activities may take place with a maximum of 100 people.

Can my Trefoil Guild or Olave Peer meet at a café or a restaurant?

Yes, adult Girl Guide groups may meet at a hospitality venue. They must follow venue guidelines.

Can we hire our Guide Hall out to an external group, such as a dance group?

You can hire out your Hall to external groups which follow Victorian Government guidelines on group size (1 person per 2m2 if using electronic record keeping, or 1 person per 4m2 if using written record keeping). Hall hirers are responsible for ensuring that the COVID-19 Safety Plan is implemented in full, and may delegate tasks to the hiring group as long as a process is in place to confirm all tasks are completed.

Questions about Hall hire? Contact the JPC by emailing katie.possingham@guidesvic.org.au.

Can we host a fundraising activity such as a Bunnings Sausage Sizzle?

Yes, as long as your activities are compliant with the Victorian Government guidelines. The Girl Guides Victoria COVID-19 Safety plan must be implemented alongside any COVID-Safe requirements of the host organisation (e.g. Bunnings).

My Unit isn't ready to return to in-person meetings yet. What should we do?

There is no one-rule-fits-all in returning to in-person Girl Guiding. Some members or Units may choose not to resume in-person Girl Guiding for now. If so, remember to check out all the virtual opportunities on offer on the 2021 Calendar.

Remember to communicate with your Girl Guide Unit – including girls, parents, and all Volunteers – to discuss your plan for Girl Guide activities.

What will change for Girl Guides when restrictions ease again?

Each time there is a confirmed change in restrictions from the Victorian State Government, the JPC team will communicate directly with Leaders and Managers how these changes affect Girl Guide activities.

 

Girl Guides Victoria COVID-Safe Principles

These principles are applicable to all in-person Girl Guide activities, when and where these are permitted to occur.

Read the Principles
  1. Restrict Unit gatherings to the maximum number of people permitted in your area. Complete the COVID-19 Safety Plan checklist for each activity.
  2. Encourage all members to wear a mask when social distancing is not possible. Girl Guides younger than 12 years can choose to wear a mask.
  3. Continue to practice social distancing (1.5 metres).
  4. Cough and sneeze into a tissue or elbow, and dispose of waste thoughtfully.
  5. Practice good hand hygiene and avoid touching your face.
  6. Stay at home and see a doctor if you feel sick or unwell, no matter how small the symptoms.
  7. Show respect for others and yourself, and work together with your Girl Guide friends for everyone’s safety.
  8. If you post images on social media, show how your Unit is complying with the GGV COVID-Safe principles.
  9. Please note: If you or someone you live with are in the high-risk category (aged 70+ years, have a pre-existing chronic medical condition and/or are an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander), you should not commence in-person Girl Guide activities yet, however it is your decision.

Download the COVID-Safe Principles Poster.

Do I need to conduct a Risk Management when planning outdoor activities?

All adventure based activities require a Risk Management document to be conducted and submitted to Girl Guides Victoria. A list of these activities is on Guidelines for Girl Guides. Non-adventure based activities do not require a Risk Management document, however as with all Girl Guide activities you should ask yourself three questions:

  1. What are we doing?
  2. What could go wrong?
  3. How can we make it safe?

A few things to consider when conducting your Girl Guide meetings outdoors are:

  • How to maintain a safe 1.5 m apart from each other,
  • Identifying ‘boundaries’ for outside spaces,
  • How to stay safe when going to the bathroom (e.g. Do Girl Guides go in pairs? Does a Leader need to accompany the pairs?), and/or
  • Stranger danger in public spaces.

Are there resources to help keep my Unit's Girl Guide activities COVID-safe?

Yes, the COVID-19 Safety Plan checklist and accompanying resources are designed to help you prepare your Hall/venue, Leaders, Volunteers, Girl Guides, and parents for returning to in-person Girl Guide activities while we live with COVID-19 as part of our daily lives. This will mean increased hygiene and cleaning processes, and means helping Leaders, families, and Girl Guides practice physical distancing while participating in Girl Guide activities.

 

Questions about Girl Guides Online

What virtual events are happening at a State Level?

Girl Guides have lots of opportunities to continue to grow, learn and discover! Download and read our 2021 Calendar to see all the fun experiences on offer. This calendar includes monthly events for both Youth and Adult members of Girl Guides Victoria such as Friday Night Guides, A Day in the Life of a Girl Guide and new episodes of GGTV!)

Our Unit is unable to continue with Zoom meetings but I have Girl Guides who want to continue. What can they do?

Encourage Girl Guides to engage with GGTV and take advantage of the wonderful events on offer in the Calendar, including monthly Friday Night Guides.

What about Girl Guides who cannot get online?

Guides@Home paper-based resources are available for Girl Guides who cannot join online activities. To receive Guides@Home, or to organise for a Girl Guide in your Unit to receive Guides@Home, contact guidesathome@guidesvic.org.au.

Are there different Guides@Home packs for different age groups?

No. Guides@Home contains the same activities as seen on GGTV. The instructions are more detailed so you can do the activity without watching the video.

My Girl Guides don’t want to be on Zoom anymore. Can they do Guides@Home?

Yes. Email the name of your Girl Guides that want to do Guides@Home to guidesathome@guidesvic.org.au along with the names of the Leaders you want to receive a copy of the pack.

The Girl Guides in my Unit are tired of Zoom and finding it hard to come up with what they want to do. How can we keep going with Girl-Led under these circumstances?

While we pride ourselves on our Girl Led philosophy and practices, now might be the time for a more structured and/or shorter program that is easier for leaders to deliver and might also be easier and more enjoyable for our girls to participate in. You could plan some favourite activities that your Girl Guides can jump into and lead on the night, like making up a dance to a campfire song. You could choose the topic but your Girl Guides then take the topic and lead the night. Take the best of both and make it work for where your Unit is right now!

For those Units that are working well please continue what you are doing for as long as it works. And for those who are finding this challenging and just plain hard, please feel that you can try new things if you need to. At this time, the most important thing is to enjoy Girl Guides even if that means it looks quite different than it used to.

My Unit has Girl Guides who are turning 18 this year. Do we have to ‘boot’ them out while we’re meeting on Zoom?

No. These Girl Guides can continue to be active participants until you can meet together in person and ‘boot’ them out in a great send off! You can start the Olave enrolment process while they are still participating in your Unit.

Is the paid Zoom subscription worth it or should we stick with the free version?

It depends on what your Unit needs. A paid subscription has additional functions and you get additional time. If you only need 40 minutes, you might want to stick with the free version.

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