Dear members, parents, guardians and supporters, 

I hope this email finds you all well and enjoying Island life at the moment. Whilst it is fantastic that we can see loved ones, go to bars and restaurants and enjoy Scouting, it must be remembered that those across the water from us are in a far graver situation. Although Onchan was the first Scout Group to start meeting back in the British Isles, in the coming weeks and months we may end up being one of the few in the UK still permitted to meet. 

Whilst we should enjoy the Island’s success at protecting us, and make the most of enjoying Island life, we must not get complacent or forget that Covid still remains a threat. We continue to monitor the situation on the Isle of Man and review our Risk Assessments to keep the Group and its members safe.  

Given recent developments locally, and the potential for further cases to be recorded during the winter months, we have recently updated our Risk Assessment and brought in a new policy surrounding those who are returning to the Island or live in the same household as someone who has returned. 

From today, if you or a member of your household returns to the Island from a country which has Covid-19 in the community (such as the UK) and are required to isolate at home for any period, then you and members of your household must not attend the Hall or any Scouting event or activity until 14 days after the day on which that person returns. Put another way, if you or a member of your household are isolating, you cannot attend Scouting events for a period of 14 days from their return.  For the avoidance of doubt this does not cover (for the time being) Guernsey as there is no requirement to isolate on return.

I note and accept that this is not a rule presently imposed by the Isle of Man Government. If, for example, a parent returns from the UK then the child can still attend school at present. There are of course public policy reasons behind this based on the importance of a child’s education; we agree with this. However Scouting, whilst important, is not essential and we therefore wish to protect our members, our Leaders and hirers of the Hall.  This policy is supported by the Scout Association – Isle of Man and is being adopted in all Scout Groups and Explorer Units across the Island. 

The remainder of the year is a busy one for 2nd Onchan with a number of Group and section events. We are keen to ensure that these can go ahead in the safest way, protecting you! I therefore welcome your support in ensuring we continue to protect the Group. 

If you have any questions or queries regarding this new policy then please do not hesitate to contact me. An updated copy of our Risk Assessment can be viewed in the Hall and at the link below.

Thank you for your continuing support. 

Yours in Scouting, 

Alex Armstrong

Group Scout Leader – 2nd Onchan Scout Group