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Outdoor Education: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL4943, tabled on 2 June 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, as part of their COVID-19 recovery strategy, they will enable (1) professional outdoor education, and (2) adventure holiday providers, to offer appropriately distanced and planned activities (a) for schools, and (b) in the school holidays.

Answered on

16 June 2020

The government’s overriding priority remains keeping the public safe. Any steps taken as part of a phased lifting of restrictions need to be measured and guided by the science. It is for this reason that, while we have set out that primary schools can now welcome back some more of their pupils, we are advising that professional outdoor education and adventure holiday companies that would usually offer activities for schools and/ or summer holiday activities to children, should be remaining closed for the time being.

However, under the new social distancing guidelines, which allow up to, but no more than 6 people to gather outside, parents can take their children to a 1-1 outdoor coaching or training session, as long as the gathering does not exceed 6 people and social distancing is adhered to. Parents can also take their children to certain other outdoor sport and recreation activities, provided they are meeting these same social distancing requirements. Details of the types of activities included are set out in DCMS’s guidance for the public on the phased return of outdoor sport and recreation, which can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-phased-return-of-sport-and-recreation/guidance-for-the-public-on-the-phased-return-of-outdoor-sport-and-recreation.

The government will keep this position under review and continue to be guided by the best scientific and medical advice to ensure that the right decisions are taken at the right time.