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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 tiffany.ho@guidesvic.org.au.

The below FAQs were published on 25 November 2020 and may 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 with a maximum of 20 youth members PLUS the number of adult Volunteers required to meet Girl Guides Australia ratios which is 2-3 adults. More details about ratios is online here. The COVID-19 Safety Plan must be implemented for all activities, and the 4m2 per person requirement must be met.

Masks must be worn by members aged 12 years and older while undertaking indoor in-person Girl Guide activities.

Meeting outdoors is preferred, due to the lower risk of spreading coronavirus between people when you are outdoors.

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.

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

Yes, outdoor in-person Girl Guide activities may take place with a maximum of 50 Girl Guide members, including adult Volunteers. The COVID-19 Safety Plan must be implemented for all activities.

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 are no longer mandatory if:

  • The activity takes place outside, AND
  • Activities can be conducted in a ‘socially distanced’ manner – with 1.5m between each Girl Guide member.

Masks are still required to be worn at Girl Guides by members aged 12+ if:

  • The activity takes place inside, OR
  • Activities cannot be conducted in a ‘socially distanced’ manner – that is, if 1.5m distance cannot be maintained.

Can my Unit meet indoors with more adult Volunteers if we have fewer Girl Guide youth members? (e.g. 18 youth members + 5 adults)

No, the maximum number of youth members in one group while indoors is 20 and the maximum number of adult Volunteers is 3. Fewer youth members does not allow for more adults to attend.

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 separate groups follow the maximum group size of 20+3, AND
  • The 4m2 per person requirement is 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?

No, not at this stage.

Can my Unit sing together?

Yes, you can. Singing outdoors is permitted providing that the COVID-Safe Principles are followed – in particular maintaining a 1.5m distance between people and that everyone over the age of 12 wears a mask. Singing indoors is limited to a maximum of 5 people in a group. 

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

No, not at this stage. It is not possible to follow the Girl Guides Victoria COVID-Safe Principles, specifically physical distancing, while in a minibus. A Girl Guide Unit travelling together on a minibus is therefore not permitted under the current guidelines.

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: Maximum of 20 people.
  • Meetings in private home: Maximum of 15 people.

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 50 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 (20 people per space + the facilitators required to run the activity). 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 volunteer@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 enjoy the virtual Girl Guide T4 Calendar as it continues with events for everyone right through until December.

Remember to communicate with your Girl Guide Unit – including girls, parents, and all Volunteers – to discuss your plan for Girl Guide activities for the remainder of T4.

What will change for Girl Guides when restrictions ease again?

We expect that the next easing of restrictions will be announced on Sunday 22 November.

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 T4 Calendar to see all the fun experiences on offer. This calendar includes regular weekly events for both Youth and Adult members of Girl Guides Victoria such as Friday Night Guides, Saturday Socialising, A Day in the Life of a Girl Guide and Guiding in Your Pocket (including new episodes of GGTV!)

In addition to these regular weekly events, T4 includes further opportunities for Leadership and Management Training, Part Two of our Virtual Youth Forum, and other AWESOME Girl Guide experiences only available through Girl Guides Victoria.

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 T4 Calendar, including Friday Night Guides every week during T4 @ 6.30pm.

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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