Youth Theatre provision across England and Wales during Covid 19- update January 2021.

Monday 4 January 2021

Youth Theatre provision across England and Wales during Covid 19-  update January 2021.

We are living in challenging times. We understand how badly affected young people are through the Covid19 lockdowns. We believe young people need continuity and support, however depending on what tier you are in, depends on how youth theatres can provide this support. This means that some of this support cannot happen face to face.  We await further guidance from the NYA on Tuesday 5 January, but until then suggest that youth theatres in England and Wales adhere to the following guidelines. 

England:  

Tiers update:

Tier 1- Medium Alert

Meeting in larger groups

There are exceptions where people can continue to gather in groups larger than 6:

  • for supervised activities provided for children and those who were under 18 on 31 August 2020, including wraparound care (before and after school childcare), children’s groups, activities for under-18s and children’s playgroups www.gov.uk/guidance

Youth theatres can continue to meet in person in groups of 15. The adult leader is not included in this number. Over 18s cannot meet in person – these groups (eg 18-25 young companies) need to meet online. Covid19 security and prevention measures need to be adhered to at all times. Theatres must close by 11pm.


Tier 2 – High Alert

Meeting in larger groups

There are exceptions where people can continue to gather indoors, or in groups larger than 6 outdoors, including:

  • for supervised activities provided for children, and those who were under 18 on 31 August 2020, including wraparound care (before and after school childcare), childrens’ groups and activities for under-18s, and children’s playgroups https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tier-2-high-alert 

Youth theatres can continue to meet in person in groups of 15. The adult leader is not included in this number. Over 18s cannot meet in person – these groups (eg 18-25 young companies) need to meet online. Covid19 security and prevention measures need to be adhered to at all times. Theatres must close by 11pm.


Tier 3 – Very High Alert

Meeting in larger groups

There are exceptions where people can continue to gather indoors or in private gardens, or in groups larger than 6, in outdoor public places:

  • for supervised activities provided for children and those who were under 18 on 31 August 2020, including wraparound care (before and after-school childcare), children’s groups, activities for under-18s, and children’s playgroups https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tier-3-very-high-alert

Youth theatres can continue to meet in person in groups of 15. The adult leader is not included in this number. Over 18s cannot meet in person – these groups (eg 18-25 young companies) need to meet online. Covid19 security and prevention measures need to be adhered to at all times. 

Young people in Tier four cannot travel into a Tier three area so youth theatre leaders need to provide alternative support for these young people, possibly through a  ”Zoom in the room”.

Theatres must remain closed.


Tier 4 – Stay at home

Where and when you can meet in larger groups

There are still circumstances in which you are allowed to meet others from outside your household or support bubble in larger groups, but this should not be for socialising and only for permitted purposes. A full list of these circumstances will be included in the regulations, and includes:

  • for registered childcare, or for supervised activities for children where this enables a parent to work, seek work, attend education or training, or for respite care

Childcare

Some youth services are able to continue, such as 1-1 youth work and support groups, but most youth clubs and groups will need to cease for this period.       

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/tier-4-stay-at-home

We do not believe that Youth Theatre falls into the first category although we understand that some youth theatre providers may also be providing supervised activities for children enabling parents to work etc. However this is not youth theatre – this is childcare. 

Youth Theatres need to close in person but can of course continue online. However there should be no face to face sessions taking place. 

 

Young people in Tier four cannot travel into a Tier three area for youth theatre activities, or vice versa.  

 

Theatres must remain closed.

 

We also suggest that leaders refer to the Out of School Settings guidelines – link below.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protective-measures-for-holiday-or-after-school-clubs-and-other-out-of-school-settings-for-children-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/protective-measures-for-out-of-school-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak


Wales:

All of Wales are in LEVEL FOUR, which is similar to England’s Tier Four. 

 

Are activities and clubs for children allowed to run?

No mixing between households is not permitted under Level 4 restrictions (other than in very limited circumstances – see exceptions below). No indoor and outdoor gatherings are allowed and this includes activities such as Scouts groups, parent and toddler groups and dance classes. This reflects that people including children should not be spending time with people they do not live with unless essential.

Exceptions to this rule

Clubs used as childcare can continue as normal if they are operating from premises which are allowed to open for childcare under the regulations e.g. holiday or wrap-around childcare operating from community or church halls, leisure centres and sports venues.

https://gov.wales/childcare-and-play-alert-level-4-frequently-asked-questions

This suggests that Youth Theatres in Wales should also be running virtually rather than in person as they are not regarded as specific “wrap around childcare” and will be regarded in a similar light to dance classes. 

Please refer to this link for further guidance.  https://gov.wales/youth-work-services-guidance-coronavirus