• Geoffrey Priems

Updated COVID-19 Restrictions -- Ontario

Hello Scouters, Nothing is more important to Scouts Canada than the safety and well-being of all youth entrusted to our care. Not only do we have a "duty of care" for our youth, Scouters, and staff, but we also have a social responsibility to provide leadership in support of both the Federal and Provincial Governments. As such, Scouts Canada Councils in Ontario and Quebec are supporting the direction of government and health agencies in maintaining public health.

Within the last few days, the Governments of Ontario and Quebec announced that schools will be temporarily closed to manage and ensure youth safety and slow down the spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant. We know this will affect many of you as well as many others around us. The following actions are being taken by Voyageur Council effective immediately for Groups in Quebec and effective Wednesday, January 5, 2022 for Groups in Ontario (and will remain in effect for at least 21 days, until January 27, 2022). We will continue monitoring developments and make decisions on regional variations and/or possible extensions if required. Please note that any local limitations enacted by your Public Health Unit, including orders limited to specific towns, must be followed at all times.

Scout Groups in Ontario All Groups under all Ontario Public Health Units may operate under modified Stage 2 Scouting.

  • Updated indoor restrictions: The new restrictions limit all indoor, in-person activities ("organized public events") to a maximum of 5 individuals. Given that following the Two-Scouter rule would lead to only 3 youth being able to participate in a given event, indoor meetings are no longer permitted.

  • Updated outdoor restrictions: Outdoor, in-person activities ("organized public events") have no limits on the number of participants, but face coverings and/or masks must be worn when distancing (two metres or more) cannot be maintained. We highly encourage the use of Patrols (8 members) to allow for physical distancing and to minimize the sharing of equipment.

  • Camping: Indoor or outdoor camping is not permitted.

If preferred, Groups are welcome to return to virtual Scouting in the short term. We encourage all Groups to modify their activities to ensure the safety of our members and to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Please remember that the Two-Scouter rule must still be observed if you are holding virtual meetings.

We recognize the hardship that this may cause and appreciate your patience and understanding as we work to ensure that all youth, Scouters, and parents are provided with a safe and healthy Scouting experience. Moreover, we also want to thank you, our Scouters, for once again going above and beyond to role model that high degree of resiliency and adaptability that the Scouting program delivers to our youth members firsthand as we all band together to rise above these pandemic challenges.

Please reach out to your Group Commissioner or Group Support Scouter/Relationship Manager if you have any questions or concerns.

For more information about current provincial restrictions from the government, you can access the Ontario COVID-19 website . Scouting Stage 1 and Stage 2 details can be found at scouts.ca.

As a reminder to all Scouters, for your own safety and the safety of our youth and communities, you must follow public health guidelines at all times.

Remember, when in doubt, follow the most restrictive guideline.

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