Symptoms or confirmed cases in your unit

What to do if someone in your unit is showing symptoms or get a positive Covid-19 test result

As we start to meet again in person, you might be worried about the risks involved.

Updated 27 July 2021

We're all doing everything we can to reduce the risk of catching Covid-19. But it's possible that you'll have confirmed cases of coronavirus in your local guiding community.

You should always be following local government guidelines, including testing procedures and self-isolating if necessary. If you’re unsure about anything see our up-to-date coronavirus information or speak to your commissioner.

What should I do?

If a girl or adult has Covid-19 symptoms

Anyone experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 must not attend any in-person unit meetings or events. They should take a PCR test and self-isolate for at least 10 days or until they receive a negative test result.

If someone had a confirmed case of Covid-19

If a coronavirus test comes back positive the volunteer or young member must self-isolate and follow the instructions of their national track and trace service.

Everyone who's been at a meeting - leaders, young members, volunteers and any visitors - should follow track and trace procedures, as set out by your national service. They'll let you know if there's been close contact and if you need to self-isolate.

If you hire your meeting venue, you should let the property management know that there's been a positive test result.

If you are contacted by a contact tracing service

If a member has tested positive soon after attending a unit meeting, you may be contacted by your nations’ contact tracing service (For example, in England this would be Test and Trace.)

This is why it’s important to make sure GO records and registration details are correct for every meeting and kept for a month. For under 18s, please provide their parent’s or carer’s contact details rather than the young member’s.

If a contact tracing service tells you that the whole unit needs to self-isolate

If there has been a confirmed case of Covid-19 in your unit, you might be asked to tell everyone who was at a unit meeting or part of a guiding bubble to self-isolate.

All young members, leaders, volunteers, and visitors will need to self-isolate at home for 10 days if asked to, even if they don’t have symptoms or have had a negative test result. Other members of their households do not need to isolate unless anyone develops symptoms.

You can use this letter template to inform parents and carers that your unit needs to self-isolate. Only do this if you have been told to by the contact tracing service. 

The template is designed for you to adapt to your unit’s situation, as advised by your local government health body. There are spaces to add your own details. Copy and paste the letter text below or download the Word version.

Download the Word version

Dear parents and carers, [insert a first name if you are sending this individually]

I have been advised by [local government tracing service] that following our last meeting, one of our [young members/adult volunteers] has a confirmed case of Covid-19.

We’ve been advised by [local government tracing service] that all members who came into close contact with the confirmed case, including your child, need to self-isolate for 10 days from the last point of contact.

Date of contact with case: [insert date of last meeting when case was present]

10-day isolation period until: [insert date]

Young members should stay at home and self-isolate for the entire period, including not going to school. Our face-to-face meetings will be suspended, and all adult volunteers will also be self-isolating. Other members of your household do not need to isolate, as long as no one develops coronavirus symptoms.

If your child, or anyone else in your home, does show symptoms of Covid-19, they need to stay home for at least 10 days from the point when the symptoms began. You can arrange a test for coronavirus through the NHS testing service. And all other members of your household will need to self-isolate for 10 days, even if they feel well.

The 10-day period starts when the first person in the home became ill. This also applies to anyone who lives outside your home but is a part of your support bubble.

For information about the symptoms of Covid-19 and how you can reduce the spread of the virus, check the NHS website.

I know this must be worrying for you and your family. We’re asking you to do this to reduce the spread of Covid-19 and protect others in our community.

If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know. I look forward to seeing the girls again soon.


Send the letter through post or email to the primary contact on the member’s GO account. Once you've told the whole group, including adults, that they need to self-isolate, you do not need to do anything more.

If a girl is told to self-isolate by her school

If a young member is told to self-isolate by their school then they must stay home and not attend any in-person giding meetings or events, even if they've had a negative test result. Other members in the unit or Girlguiding bubble do not need to isolate.