Scouting Ireland’s CEO, together with the Youth Sector and NYCI, has been working with the DCEDIY to have the Youth Guidelines updated to acknowledge the structured and managed way that we can work with our youth members. Minister O’Gorman has been centrally involved in discussions and raised the matter at the Government meeting last week. The Minister secured an agreement to increase the pod size for indoor meetings from six to 15 youth members with immediate effect. This change applies to Groups in the ROI:

1. The increase applies to indoor work with groups of mixed vaccination status. Up to 15 Youth Members per pod, more than one pod can meet with the correct social distancing.

2. The larger numbers in the previously published guidance continue to apply in instances where all attendees are vaccinated.

3. As previously, this increase is strictly limited to Scouting Ireland, youth groups, clubs, and services funded by the Exchequer through the schemes administered by Youth Affairs Unit, DCEDIY.

4. Outdoor options should continue to be utilised wherever possible.

5. Where it is an option to operate certain activities in smaller pods, this should be used.

6. Continued strict adherence to other elements of the public health guidance is critical.