COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Page updated 23 February 2022 V3

Girl Guides must follow the current COVID-19 Public Health Orders, and manage risks to members, volunteers, Leaders, other hall users and staff and other people in accordance with Work Health and Safety laws.
Keeping up to date with public announcements in your state or territory  relating to COVID-19 is also part of a Guide Leader and District or Region Manager's responsibility and one of the best ways to help keep everyone safe.
Please ensure you and your team are aware of the latest changes and legal requirements at all times as you will be responsible for adhering to these updates.

Returning to Guiding in 2022

Below is a comprehensive list of FAQs to equip our Members with up-to-date and relevant information for managing Covid-19 in 2022.


Capacity & Physical Distancing

Q. Do the square metre rules apply to Guide Halls and properties used by Girl Guides? If so, is the limitation currently 1 person per 2 sqm? 
A. In NSW: 
No.
In ACT: 
No. There are no density restrictions, or any further requirements, for gatherings of under 1,000 people
Gatherings of up to 2,000 people permitted outdoors without density restrictions. This requires a COVID Safety Plan 
For gatherings greater than 1,000, pre-registration is required and a COVID plan lodged with ACT Health. 
All organized events must develop a COVID Safety Plan. Guidelines for your COVID Safety Plan can be found here
In NT: 
Outside of a lockdown or lockout area, there is no limit to how many people can gather indoors or outdoors. It is recommended that you keep 1.5 metres from people you don’t live with. 
 

QR Code Check In

Q. Do I still need to check in to the Hall using the QR code? 
In NSW
A.Checking in with a QR code is no longer necessary from Friday 18 February 2022. 

In ACT
A. Checkin in with a QR code is not required. 

In NT
A. You are required to check-in with the Territory Check In app (the app) at all places - including the Hall. 

Q. I need a new QR Code or QR Code Check in poster for our Guide Hall – how do I get one?
A. Simply contact Guide House on 1300 447 548 to receive a copy of your QR code poster or have a new one set up and sent to you.  
 
Q. There are multiple Guide Halls in my Region or District, do I need to complete a separate COVID-19 Safety Plan for each one?  
A. Yes, a separate COVID-19 Safety Plan and Service NSW QR Code will be required for each venue or location.  
  
Q. Do we need to use the QR Code for Guide Meetings?  
In NSW
A.In NSW, checking in with a QR Code is no longer necessary from Friday 18 February 2022. 

In ACT
A. Checking in with a QR Code is not required. 

In NT
A. You are required to check-in with the Territory Check In app (the app) at all places. 
 
Q. Our Guide meetings are held in a Council Run venue, Scouts Hall, Church, Community Centre or other alternative venue however we do not have a QR Code. What should we do? 
A. Ask the venue you are in to provide you with a Territory QR Code.  
If unsuccessful, please contact Guide House and we will assist you with setting one up.  
 
Q. Can Guide House check to see how many people have checked in using the QR Code?  
A. No. All data collected via the QR Code goes directly to the government.
 
If you were unable to find the answer you were looking for above, please email [email protected] and one of our staff members will assist you.  
 

Mask Wearing

Mask wearing in Guide Halls 
In NSW, and up to Thursday 24 February 2022:

All individuals aged 12 and over must wear a mask when inside a Guide Hall. Individuals under the age of 12 are strongly encouraged to wear masks, however it is not mandatory. 

Masks are also strongly encouraged, though not mandatory, in outdoor settings where you cannot socially distance. Masks can be removed for eating and exercising. 

For more information on mask wearing click here

In NSW, and from Friday 25 February 2022: 
Mask wearing will no longer be necessary in a Guide Hall. 

Masks are still encouraged, though not mandatory, in indoor settings where you cannot socially distance. Masks can be removed for eating and exercising.  

In ACT:
All individuals aged 12 and over must wear a mask when inside a Guide Hall. Individuals under the age of 12 are strongly encouraged to wear masks, however it is not mandatory.  

In NT: 
Everyone must wear a mask when inside a Guide Hall. You must wear a mask while indoors when you cannot maintain a distance of 1.5 metres from other people. 

Can a person (12 + ) who has an exemption for wearing a mask still enter a Guide Hall or indoor venue with Guides?

This up to the District and Leaders.  The Health rules state that everyone needs to wear a mask indoors though those with a valid mask exemption, legally , do not have to wear a mask.  However, government health rules also state that an owner/occupier of a premises can make this call and refuse entry to a person without a mask.

  • If you don’t want the person to enter the Hall then it’s best to make every effort to ensure they can still participate by moving activities outdoors where possible. Otherwise politely ask them to only participate in outdoor activities until the state or territory Health orders for mask wearing indoors change.
  • If you are happy with their reason for exemption and ok with them entering the Hall then make a request that they maintain social distancing and stay vigilant with good hygiene practices such as continued use of sanitiser and ensure they don’t have responsibilities such as preparing food or materials for others while not wearing a mask indoors.  If you want to you could also request that they provide a negative RAT test before entering the Hall – though this is not a requirement or mandatory.
  • It’s important to remember that a person’s reason for exemption is confidential. They do not have to show you proof and if they do tell you in confidence remember not to share this with anyone else.

Hygiene and Hall Cleaning

Please see the below resources for maintaining hygiene personally, and in your Hall 
Covid Safe poster downloads 
Safe Work Australia Covid-19 Cleaning Checklist

Q. There has been a confirmed case in my Hall, how do I clean and disinfect the premises? 
A. Although highly effective, it is not necessary to organise a professional cleaner to clean the premises. Leaders can carry out their own cleaning, following Safe Work Australia’s guidelines on cleaning and disinfecting. You can find more information here

If the confirmed case is from a third party, i.e. the Hall hirer, the responsibility for cleaning falls on the hirer and not GG Leaders. If you’re having difficulty getting the hirer to clean, and it’s preventing you having meetings, contact the [email protected] or call 1800 447 548 and ask for the Property Team.  

Q. How can I ensure my Hall is clean on a pre-cautionary basis? 
A. Please see a Cleaning Checklist here. This contains several steps on how to keep your Hall clean and ventilated before and after meetings.

Q. Do I need to keep a cleaning roster? 
A. A cleaning roster is not mandatory however Girl Guides strongly encourages Leaders to maintain effective cleaning practices. The Safe Work Australia Covid-19 Cleaning Checklist can be viewed here
 

Vaccinations

Q. What happens if my child is not vaccinated and attends a Guide Hall? 
A. Girl Guides encourages vaccination however, as per current State and Territory regulations, you no longer need to show evidence that you are vaccinated. All members of the public can move about freely. Please remember to keep an eye on any changes to this in your State or Territory.

Q. I am concerned my Leader is not vaccinated. What should I do?
A. Attendance to Guide meetings is at each Member’s discretion. Girl Guides NSW, ACT & NT encourages vaccination, however the organisation is following State and Territory regulation which does not mandate vaccination outside of certain industries. 
Girl Guides NSW, ACT & NT advises all Members to follow Covid-Safe practices in Guide Halls, such as mask wearing and social distancing, to ensure our Halls are safe. 

Q. What is Girl Guides NSW, ACT & NT’s stance on vaccination?
A. As an organisation, we recommend vaccination however it is not mandated as per State and Territory health orders.

Q. Is it necessary to provide proof of vaccination to attend a Unit meeting? 
A. No. Individuals do not need to provide proof of vaccination to attend a Hall. 

Q. Can I ask why someone is not vaccinated? 
A. No. Given vaccinations are not mandated and to preserve the privacy of our members and volunteers, it’s important to  respect the right of others to have differing opinions and viewpoints. 

Q. My child requires a support worker to attend Guides. What are the rules around vaccination of support workers? 
A. It is no longer mandatory that individuals be vaccinated to enter indoor premises. All people 16+ who are vaccinated or unvaccinated can participate in all areas of the community. 
We do recommend continued health and safety practices such as hand washing, social distancing and mask wearing. All individuals over the age of 12 are required to wear a mask indoors, and when social distancing is not possible. 
 

Managing Covid & Confirmed Positive Covid Cases

Q. I have woken up feeling unwell, what should I do? 
A. Now, more than ever, if you are feeling unwell (see COVID-19 symptoms below) stay at home to rest and recover and see a doctor if necessary. Please notify your other Leaders and District Manager immediately if you will not be attending Girl Guides. For the health and welfare of all, please only return to Face-to-Face Guides when you are confident you are well.

Q. If I think I have symptoms of COVID-19, what should I do? 
A. COVID-19 symptoms include fever, tiredness, dry cough, sore or scratchy throat, aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, shortness of breath and diarrhoea. Children and young people are more likely to have a milder illness, and some may not have any symptoms. If you are at all concerned about your health, please see your doctor. 
The National Coronavirus Helpline (1800 020 080) is available to call 24 hours a day, seven days a week for further advice. 
To find your nearest testing centre visit the links below: 
NSW 
ACT
NT  

Q. I am a Leader and I have tested positive. What do I do? 
A. If you contract Covid-19, you need to follow the Covid-19 Test & Isolate National Protocols and isolate at home for 7 days. You can view this protocol here. 

In the case a Leader tests positive for Covid-19, they must advise their Region Manager to coordinate if and how the next Unit Meeting will occur and Guide House at [email protected].  This information will be treated highly sensitively. In the case a Unit has two Leaders, it will be assumed the alternative Leader will lead the Unit Meetings (only in the case they have no symptoms). 

If there is no alternative Leader to run the next Unit Meeting, you will be required to inform attendees of the Hall that there will be no Unit Meeting or to consider shifting to an online delivery format. Use the text below. 

Dear Guiding families, 
We have been notified that an individual who attended [name the meetings/event/activity] on [date of meeting/event/activity’] has tested positive for Covid-19. This individual is now in quarantine for 7 days from their test date. Their household contacts must also quarantine and will have a test at the end of their quarantine period. 

Cleaning of the Hall will take place on [date of cleaning] and meetings will not take place before or during this time. 

Because the exposure period was less than 4 hours, all other attendees are not considered close contacts and as such, there is no need to isolate or stop attending Unit Meetings. Individuals should monitor for symptoms and get tested if symptoms develop. 

If you are unwell or experiencing symptoms, do not attend the Guide Hall. 

Other members of your family or household who were not present at the meeting, do not need to isolate or get tested unless they have symptoms. 

Please continue to follow Public Health Orders regarding personal hygiene, mask wearing and social distancing. 

Q. Who do I need to notify if a person with a confirmed case attends my Guide Hall? 
A. Please notify Guide House at [email protected] and your Region Manager. 


You also need to notify only the people who were present at the Guide meeting or event, or people who have attended the hall within 48 hours of the positive case, including hall hirers. You can refer to the email templates throughout this webpage to assist with your communication.
You do not need to contact Safe Work NSW, Work Safe ACT or NT WorkSafe. Guide House will do this where required.

Q. What happens if a confirmed case attends a Guide Hall, or overnight stay/camp? 
A. In NSW and NT:
If someone in your Hall tests positive for Covid-19, you will likely be notified by that person, a parent/carer, or by the staff at Guide House (eg, Service NSW usually email the Property Admin email address with confirmed case notifications linked to Girl Guides QR codes). 
As per current State and Territory workplace rules Guide House will only inform SafeWork NSW, WorkSafe ACT or NT WorkSafe if the individual with the confirmed case was in a Guide Hall or at a Guides event and  has been hospitalised or passed away from COVID-19.
It is the Unit Leader’s responsibility to inform all those who attended the Hall, advising them of the general situation and noting that the privacy of the Positive Case must always be maintained. Do not reveal the confirmed case’s name or details. 
In the event a Confirmed Case attends a Guide Hall, Unit Leaders have a responsibility to follow the below steps: 
Advise other parties such as the property owner (i.e. if your Hall is rented) as they may have their own procedure to follow
Inform the attendees and any hall hirers that a confirmed case attended Guiding (use the text provided below)
•       Email Guide House at  [email protected] to advise of the general situation or if you require guidance on next steps
        Include an attached Incident report  and detail your actions after you learned of the positive case and what Covid safety measures you had in place at the time the person attended. Including the name of the person with Covid is optional unless they needed to be hospitalised. 

The following text can be used to notify attendees of a confirmed case 

Dear Guiding families, 
We have been notified that an individual who attended [name the meetings/event/activity] on [date of meeting/event/activity’] has tested positive for Covid-19. This individual is now in quarantine for 7 days from their test date. Their household contacts must also quarantine and will have a test at the end of their quarantine period. 

Cleaning of the Hall will take place on [date of cleaning] and meetings and any access to the Hall will not take place before or during this time. 

Because the exposure period was less than 4 hours, all other attendees are not considered close contacts and as such, there is no need to isolate or stop attending Unit Meetings. Individuals should monitor for symptoms and get tested if symptoms develop. 

If you are unwell or experiencing symptoms, do not attend the Guide Hall. 

Other members of your family or household who were not present at the meeting, do not need to isolate or get tested unless they have symptoms. 

Please continue to follow Public Health Orders regarding personal hygiene, mask wearing and social distancing.
 

In ACT:
If someone in your Hall tests positive for Covid-19, you will likely be notified by that person, a parent/carer, or by public health authorities. It is the Unit Leader’s responsibility to inform all those who attended the Hall, advising them of the general situation. Do not reveal the confirmed case’s name or details. 
In the event a confirmed case attends a Guide Hall, Unit Leaders have a responsibility to follow the below steps: 
•       Advise other parties such as the property owner (i.e. if your Hall is rented) as they may have their own procedure to follow
Inform the attendees and any hall hirers that a confirmed case attended Guiding (use the text provided below)
•       Email Guide House at  [email protected] to advise of the general situation or if you require guidance on next steps
        Include an attached Incident report  and detail your actions after you learned of the positive case and what Covid safety measures you had in place at the time the person attended.  Including the name of the person with Covid is optional unless they needed to be hospitalised. 

The following text can be used to notify attendees of a confirmed case 

Dear Guiding families, 
We have been notified that an individual who attended [name the meetings/event/activity] on [date of meeting/event/activity’] has tested positive for Covid-19. This individual is now in quarantine for 7 days from their test date. Their household contacts must also quarantine and will have a test at the end of their quarantine period. 

Cleaning of the Hall will take place on [date of cleaning] and meetings will not take place before or during this time.

In line with ACT direction, your risk of exposure to Covid-19 is moderate and you must take a test as soon as possible (either a PCR or RAT). You must quarantine until you receive a negative result. If the first test was before day 5 (day 0 is the last date of exposure to the person with Covid-19), have another test on or after day 6.

In the case you receive a negative test result, you should continue monitoring for symptoms and take another test if symptoms develop. Please see ACT’s rules on testing and isolating here. 

If you are unwell or experiencing symptoms, do not attend the Guide Hall. 

Please continue to follow Public Health Orders regarding personal hygiene, mask wearing and social distancing. 


Q. If a confirmed case attends Guiding, can Unit Meetings at the Hall still occur? 
A. The Guide Hall will remain closed until it’s cleaned. Cleaning must be organized before anyone enters the Hall. A professional deep clean is not mandatory and Leaders can do their own cleaning. 
View Safe Work Australia’s cleaning guidelines here

Q. What will happen if any Guide or Leader starts to feel ill or appears unwell during Girl Guides? 
A. If any Leaders are unwell on arrival or during a Guide meeting, please inform other Leaders and your District Manager and leave immediately.  If any Guide is unwell, parents are to be contacted immediately to collect her. 

Q. Can I come to Girl Guides if I am awaiting COVID-19  test results? 
A. Anyone who has been tested for COVID-19 must remain in isolation until the test results are confirmed.

Q. What measures are in place for Volunteers who are unwell? 
A. Volunteers should not attend any Guiding face to face activities if they are feeling unwell. 

If a Volunteer becomes unwell while attending a meeting, they are to contact their District Manager, Region Manager and/or Guide House, leave immediately and contact the National Coronavirus Helpline (1800 020 080) or their doctor for further advice. 

If a Volunteer has been tested for COVID-19, they must remain in isolation until test results are confirmed.

Q. What should I tell families if a confirmed case attended an overnight camp or sleepover? 
A. If a confirmed case shared accommodation with other members, such as an overnight camp or sleepover, the following text can be used to send to families. 

Dear Guiding families, 
We have been informed that an individual who attended [name the overnight activity] on the night of [date(s) of event] has since tested positive for Covid-19. This individual is in quarantine for 7 days from their test date. Their household contacts must also quarantine and will have a test at the end of their quarantine period. 

Under the current Covid-19 regulations, all other attendees at this event are considered ‘household contacts’ and therefore need to isolate for 7 days from the last time you were in contact with this person. NSW Government recommend having a RAT as soon as possible and again on Day 6. Have an additional RAT if you develop symptoms. Please see Government rules regarding test and isolate rules here.

If the household contact can isolate at home separately from the other members of the household (ideally this means separate bedroom, separate bathroom, and meals delivered to their room) then other members of your family or household do not need to isolate or get tested unless they develop symptoms. 

Please continue to follow Public Health Orders regarding personal hygiene, mask wearing and social distancing.

 
Q. What do I do if someone asks who a confirmed case is? 
A. Girl Guides respects the privacy of individuals, including those who are confirmed cases of Covid-19. You should not provide the personal details of a confirmed case to anyone.


Q. Can a member or volunteer who has been a close contact or casual contact of a person with COVID-19 somewhere else then come to Guides? 
A. This depends entirely on the level of contact the member or volunteer has had with the person that has a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19. 
Please follow your state and territory rules for the risk and definitions of close and casual contacts and what is required in your state or territory regarding tests and isolation. 
Refer to the NSW Government’s information for people exposed to Covid-19 here.

Here are some current examples ; 
1 - If a youth member attended a school where there is a confirmed case of COVID 19 - if they spent more than 4 hours in close contact without a mask with this person - then they should get a RAT or PCR test that is negative before coming to Guides. They shouldn't be coming to Guides if they are unwell or while they wait for their test result.  If they were not in close contact with the person and have no symptoms then, at this time, there is no state or territory rule mandating tests before participating in the wider community.

2- If a member lives with a person with COVID 19 then they need to isolate for 7 days and have a negative RAT or PCR test before entering the community at the end of the 7 days, and therefore not come to Guides in that time.  Of course if they are unwell or have COVID 19 they cannot come to Guides.

In all circumstances they need to watch for symptoms and if they have symptoms get a RAT or PCR test. Then, if the result is negative they can come to Guides.  However, following your state or territory rules for close contact , testing and isolation is primary to these examples.

Safe Hall Hiring to 3rd Parties

Q. Are 3rd Party Guide Hall hirers required to provide Girl Guides NSW, ACT & NT with a Covid Safety plan? 
A. It is currently mandatory that regular hall hirers provide a Covid Safety Plan. One-off hall hirers should have a Covid Safety Plan but can follow the Girl Guides Covid Safety Plan for the Guide Hall which will can be provided by the District. 

Outdoor & Adventurous Activities

Q. Can I go camping? 
A. There are currently no regulations prohibiting overnight camps or sleepovers. 

Q. What should I do if an attendee at a Guide camp or outdoor activity has a positive Covid test?
A. See above for what do to if a person with a confirmed positive case has attended a Guide Hall, camp, or outdoor activity.
 

Covid Support for Members

I am struggling with the Covid-19 situation, who can I contact? 
Covid-19 has presented many challenges and we understand it is a tricky time for most. If you are feeling challenged there are several support options available to you and all members and volunteers. These services are free and confidential, and we encourage you to use them as you need them. 
Members have access to free counselling services through the Guides EAP (Employee/Volunteer Assistance Program) provider ‘Acacia Connection’. You can access this service anytime via My Guidebook under ‘Contacts Directory’. Scroll down to ‘Other Queries’ and you will see a contact there for Acacia Connection
Beyond Blue – 1300 22 4636 or visit them here
Lifeline – 13 11 14 or visit them here.
Black Dog Institute – visit them here.
Open Minds – 1300 673 664 or visit them here.

Each District has a range of risk protocols available and in place to maintain Covid Safety. These include a Covid Safety Plan and QR Code Check In for  every Girl Guide Hall or property, continued Covid safe hygiene practices, Covid FAQs accessible on our website, and downloadable resources such as posters and cleaning checklists and support from the Guide House staff team.

Questions

If you have any additional queries or would like further clarification on any of this information, please contact [email protected].


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