School camps during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Guidance for providers and school groups

This page provides guidance to operators of school camps and participating school groups on health and safety measures recommended to manage risks associated with coronavirus (COVID-19).

In line with advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer:

  • The Victorian Government has announced that rural and regional schools can undertake school camps in these areas when schools return to face-to-face learning in Term 4.
  • Camps will be limited to single schools from rural and regional Victoria and can only take place outside metropolitan Melbourne.

Bookings

School camps are not bound by public gathering limits.

Bookings for school groups can be accepted by:

  • accommodation providers, including privately operated school camps and outdoor education schools
  • camps operated by individual schools
  • government outdoor education, leadership and camp schools including the Residential Outdoor Schools Association (ROSA) Network and the Alpine School.

Providers cannot accept bookings from multiple schools for the same time period, and can only accept bookings from schools outside metropolitan Melbourne, in line with health advice.

School camp health and safety precautions

Consistent with the Term 4 school operations guide (login required), maintaining a physical distance of 1.5 metres will not always be practical in education settings, including school camps.

Physical distancing is most important between adults. Close proximity between adults on school camp sites should be avoided wherever possible.

Futher advice will be provided before the start of Term 4.

Checklist for camp operators and schools

Schools are required to follow the Department's Excursions policy (including camps and adventure activities). This includes the requirement for risk management planning.

Camp operators should undertake individual risk assessment and planning to minimise the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission and respond in the event of a confirmed case. This should be informed by the below principles and advice for accommodation providers from Business Victoria.

The following principles should be applied to school camps to ensure health and safety precautions are followed:

  • Staff and students must not attend camp if unwell. Staff or students who develop symptoms during camp must be isolated and sent home for testing as soon as possible.
  • Reinforce hand hygiene practices and ensure access to handwashing facilities in all communal areas (where soap and water are not readily available, hand sanitiser should be provided).
  • Cleaning and disinfection of communal facilities such as bathrooms and kitchens should occur at least twice daily. This includes enhanced cleaning of high touch-surfaces.
  • Physical distancing is most important between adults and should be implemented as practical.
  • The advice to all Victorians on the use of face masks also applies on school camps. Staff, volunteers and students 12 years old and over must wear a face mask, unless they have a lawful exception.
  • For sleeping arrangements, minimise numbers in shared rooms/dormitories where possible. Maintain records of sleeping arrangements to assist with contact tracing in the event of a confirmed case.
  • Parent volunteers are permitted, subject to normal arrangements, where volunteers are an integral part of the conduct of school camps. For example, where necessary to ensure adequate supervision.
  • You can find advice on the management of a suspected case of coronavirus (COVID-19) involving a student or staff member in the Term 4 school operations guide (login required). This should be applied on school camps.