Updated 22 June 2022
For the upcoming 2022 Summer Break:
- Parents and guardians should be aware that Bermuda is still experiencing an Omicron variant wave of cases.
- Camp operators and participants are encouraged to wear face masks when indoors, and that doors and windows should be open for optimal air circulation, with physical distancing and good hand hygiene. In addition, it is recommended that all possible activities be held outdoors, weather permitting.
- If there is an outbreak, the Department of Health has provided guidance to camp operators on how to respond when there is a positive case in their camps.
- If there are outbreaks, camp operators should plan accordingly and have cancellation policies and contingency plans. It should be communicated clearly to parents that if cases/hospitalizations increase, the Department of Health will monitor the situation closely and provide updates.
- All attendance/contact details must be updated daily and may be requested by visiting Department of Health inspectors and for contact tracing purposes.
- Department of Health inspectors will visit periodically to provide support and guidance.
- All camps should be registered and approved to operate.
- Parents are encouraged to register their children only at registered and approved camps.
- The Department of Health strongly encourages all camp staff to be vaccinated and take a home antigen test twice weekly.
- Staff and parents should sign a document stating they are not in quarantine, have not tested positive and members of their household are not positive for COVID-19 or are in quarantine or suffering from COVID-19 symptoms (i.e., Cold-like symptoms, sore throat, sniffles, headache, fever, cough or symptoms affiliated with other COVID-19 variants. (See the Updated Health Declaration Form below).
- It is highly recommended that camp operators ask all participants to take a home antigen test twice weekly, as is done for schools.
- All parents/guardians/staff are strongly advised to sign the Test-to-Stay Waiver Agreement in the event of a positive case in a camp. Failure to do so will result in close contacts having to quarantine (if unvaccinated) or stay away from camp (if vaccinated).
Click here to access the online camp registration form.
The Top Ten Tips for Camp Operators contains key aspects of the guidance outlined on this webpage.
Travel Guidance for Staff and Children
Staff and children should follow the Return to School and Day Care Guidance.
The owner or operator of the camp should develop travel policies for both staff and children to ensure the information is adequately communicated.
Camps that are permitted to open should register with the Ministry of Health and Department of Youth and Sport and provide information about their programmes, staff and the children they are caring for.
The Registration Form is quick and easy to complete.
Group Size and Ratios
Camps may not be larger than 15 persons per group, per room this includes staff.
Supervision levels will remain a priority for the safety of children.
- Group sizes must not exceed 14 for children in rooms measuring approximately 20’x25’.
- Use a 1:14 ratio ensuring one adult for 14 children, which keeps the group within the group limitation requirements.
- Ensure indoor and outdoor space is large enough for each child to maintain 6ft social distancing.
- To reduce risk, keep children in same groups with same staff member throughout the duration of the programme.
- Children must not be mixed from one group to another or activity to activity - this includes the main space i.e. if it is bigger than 20 x25 only ONE group may be in that space.
- While in a bubble of 15, including staff, children will eat and play as one group, separate from any other bubble of 15. Food, water and food containers, and toys will not be shared.
- In smaller facilities, ratios will need to be further reduced to accommodate the 6ft requirement per child.
- Unnecessary furniture may be removed to create additional space.
Accurate and legible contact details of staff and children must be recorded and kept for 21 days.
If requested, this information must be provided to Public Health Officers to assist with contact tracing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The following procedures must be in place:
- The full name of each child, their parents or guardians recorded
- Daily records of child and staff attendance
- Phone number of each child’s parent or guardian and staff
- Email address of each child’s parent or guardian and staff
Camp Owner/Operators must develop a plan for safe drop-off and collection of children at the start and end of each day. The following guidelines have been provided to assist with this process:
- Clearly signpost the flow of traffic and identify designated parking areas, with clear directions for drop-off and pick-up.
- Stagger or alternate drop-off and pick-up times if necessary, to manage numbers.
- All drop-offs and pick-ups should be conducted outside of the facility, or at a designated space at the entrance.
- Parents/guardians must not enter the building.
- Consider backup plans for rain or wind.
- Manage lines/cues for entry into the facility by ensuring parents are adhering to distancing guidelines and maintaining an acceptable distance of 2-metres (6-feet), using makers where practicable.
- Sign-in procedures should be completed by staff.
- Hand sanitizing (for adults) or handwashing stations (for children) should be set up at the entryway for use by all children and essential adults entering the facility.
- Writing utensils should not be shared when signing in/documenting attendance etc. ensure people know to bring their own pens.
- If check-in procedures are electronic, provide alcohol wipes or hand sanitizer and frequently clean the screens or keyboards.
Children and staff may only enter the programme if they are healthy, have not been exposed to an individual demonstrating COVID-19 symptoms, and are not under public health ordinance to be quarantined or self–isolated.
- Temperatures of staff and children may be taken and recorded, but this is no longer mandatory due to the small amount of COVID-19 cases present in the community. However please note that if there is another increase in COVID-19 cases this may again become a mandatory requirement.
- If temperatures are taken and the reading is above 38 degrees Celsius (100.4°F) the staff will be told to seek medical advice, and will not work until medically cleared. Children whose temperature exceeds 38 degrees Celsius (100.4°F) will be asked to seek medical advice and not be allowed into the establishment
- Camp owner/operators should look for any staff showing symptoms of COVID-19. If a staff member has any symptoms, they must call the owner/operator and not go to work (Use the BHB Symptom Checker)
- No staff with symptoms should be allowed to work. They will be sent home and advised to contact their medical practitioner
- Staff and parents/guardians are required to inform management if someone in their household (or a close contact) tests Covid-19 positive or is in quarantine.
- Staff should not be asked to administer fever-reducing medications. This is a clear sign that a child should not be in school.
- Post signage in visible areas and communicate the conditions for entry with staff and parents.
- Suspend all non-essential visitor access to the facility. E.g. deliveries (unless curbside pickups), volunteers
Provide copies of sick policies to parents and staff for signature.
Post emergency contact lists and speak with parents about securing alternative care in the event the child is sick and unable to attend the programme or there is an emergency that requires temporary closure.
Children and staff who become ill while at the facility should be sent home immediately and directed to the https://www.gov.bm/coronavirus website for more information about COVID-19.
An isolation area or room should be designated to accommodate sick children as they await their pick-ups (please see “Isolation Room” protocols).
This flyer may be posted in a visible location for all visitors to remind them that they should not visit if unwell. Please see the Outbreak Plan in the Resource Sidebar for more information.
Managing staff absenteeism due to illness may be a daily challenge.
- Establish protocols for sick staff, document and distribute expectations to all staff.
- Timely notification of sick staff will allow for relief coverage in a timely manner.
- Identify and have available vetted relief staff to assist, as needed.
Programmes that provide additional services from private vendors for Karate, Gymnastics, Dance, Music etc. should be aware that the movement of persons from one facility to another poses challenges to containing the spread of the virus.
- Consider using remote platforms, such as Zoom, for the continuation of these classes.
- Alternatively, these services should be halted at this time
Programmes where children receive individualized therapy from an Allied Health Professional such as SLP, OT, and PT services will need to confirm with therapists how service delivery will be modified to maintain health and safety guidelines.
Supplies and Equipment
Keep an inventory of your current supply of protective gloves, masks, and cleaning products.
- Camp operators and campers must wear masks at all times while indoors (including when walking through hallways, to the bathroom and, if easily accessible, when assembling due to bad weather or an evacuation e.g. fire drill), except when eating or drinking. However, periodic breaks from wearing masks are permitted, as long as a 6 ft distance is maintained between each person. - NOTE: This applies to immunised (having received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine plus 14 days from second dose) as well as immuno-compromised/extremely clinically vulnerable camp operators and campers.
- Camp operators should lead by example with regards to proper mask wearing.
- Camp operators may choose to wear a clear mask that will enable campers to see their complete face, thereby facilitating communication. Or, a clear face shield can be worn along with a mask.
- Camp operators and campers are not required to wear masks while outdoors. However, a 6 ft distance must be maintained between each 15 person bubble.
- Although masks are not required while outdoors, persons with COVID-19 symptoms (e.g. campers awaiting collection from camp) must wear a mask, even if outdoors.
- Camp operators and campers must wear masks while on all forms of public transportation, in mini buses/vans and while carpooling to and from camp.
- Masks should not be placed on anyone:
- who cannot tolerate a face covering due to a behavioral, developmental or medical health condition.
- who has trouble breathing or is unconscious
- incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the face covering without assistance
- under age 2
- Custodians must wear face masks at all times when on camp premises.
- Parents should wear face coverings when they enter the camp grounds and should not enter the camp facility for any reason.
- Camp operators should work with campers who cannot tolerate face coverings because of legitimate health reasons (e.g. health conditions, disability etc.) and create a camp environment that will combat stigma and bullying of these campers.
- Camp Operators should ensure that they as well as the campers:
- Wash their masks (if cloth masks) after every day of use and/or before being used again, or if visibly soiled."
- Store masks in a space designated for each operator/child/teen that is separate from others when not being worn (e.g. in individually labelled containers, bags, personal lockers or cubbies)
- Wear masks that are clearly identified with their names or initials to avoid confusion, swapping or losing them on the camp premises. Masks may also be labeled to indicate top/bottom and front/back.
- Always wash or sanitize their hands before putting on a cloth face mask
- Are aware that they should never share or swap masks
- Do not touch their masks while wearing them and, if they do, they should wash their hands before and after with soap and water or sanitize their hands with a sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
Gloves are currently not recommended unless proper glove use techniques are also used. Proper glove use requires washing hands before and after using gloves.
Washing hands and the use of hand sanitizer is preferable.
Supplies should also be accessible to staff in designated areas such as but not limited to the isolation room.
- Self-contained rooms should have no more than one group per class.
- The group should not exceed the 1:14 ratio (see “Child to Staff Ratio”) and must also adhere to the physical distancing mandate. Smaller classrooms unable to comfortably distance the 14 children and 1 adult must reduce their ratios to comply with the 6ft’ requirement.
- Use of playgrounds should follow current government guidance, including physical distancing and, where practicable, cleaning of shared equipment – different groups of children should not share the playground at the same time.
- Minimize time spent standing in lines. Place visual markers on the floor to cue children
- Increase the distance between children during table time and craft activities.
- Plan activities that do not require close physical contact between multiple children.
- Suspend programme events such as performances, where the appropriate distance of 2-metres (6ft or two arms lengths) between persons can’t be maintained.
- Weather permitting, use outdoor spaces to increase distancing/spacing during group activities.
- Facilities with elevators are to limit usage to no more than two adults at a time and children must be accompanied by an adult.
- Facilities with limited space and disproportionate enrollment will need to refuse acceptance or consider alternative scheduling.
Minimizing risk of spreading germs during activities
- Suspend communal sensory play activities (e.g., water table, playdough).
- Reinforce "no sharing" practices of food, water bottles, or personal items/toys and belongings.
- Personal items should be clearly labelled with each child's name.
- Suspend activities that permit the mixing of children from different care groups.
- Include individualized activities to decrease the sharing of materials between children.
- Stagger mealtimes and bathroom breaks to ensure adequate spacing.
- Stagger outdoor play times and use of indoor activity spaces.
- Open windows to allow better circulation of air.
- Utilise individual wipeable yoga mats to assist younger children in understanding the boundaries of their play space.
- Mats should be sanitized at the end of the day and allowed to dry before being stored. Mats be stored in a stacking fashion until needed again
- Where possible, limit item sharing by using pre-planned individualized activities stored in Ziploc bags, shoeboxes, or baskets for use by one child. These items can be wiped down/or washed and rotated.
- Minimize the potential for the spread of germs in the programme space by temporarily removing toys and objects that are not easily washable (e.g., plush toys, bean bag chairs made of fabric, floor mats and rugs).
- If items are being shared, increase cleaning protocols between usages by setting up a washing station for used materials needing to be cleaned prior to reassignment.
- Where shared hands-on teaching materials can’t be avoided, they should be cleaned at frequent intervals. Soap and water is the first step. Some items should then be sanitized.
- For younger children, develop creative ways to track hand washing and reward for frequent/timely hand washing (e.g., Facilities can use an ink stamp to be placed on the back of a child’s hands. By the end of day, the faded ink can be celebrated).
- Children should bring their own packed lunch from home.
- Eliminate family-style meals or have employees (not children) handle utensils and serve food to reduce the spread of germs.
- If physical distancing cannot be maintained (e.g., providing direct care to special needs, anxious, or inconsolable children), staff should wear mask and gloves.
- Staff and children with long hair should wear it netted or tied back.
- Staff should be encouraged to wear a long-sleeved, button down, or oversized shirt over the top of their clothing to reduce contamination during activities.
- The outer clothing should be changed if it becomes contaminated with bodily fluids (e.g., saliva, nasal discharge, and spit up) from the child.
- Children with special needs and developmental delays may require a change of clothing in the event of accidents.
- Exercise caution with young children and children with moderate to severe developmental delays. Ensure that they have the capacity to manipulate masks appropriately to reduce risks of suffocation. Anyone who cannot adjust their own mask should not use one.
- Place any contaminated clothing in a plastic bag and send home to be laundered and returned.
- Wash hands after holding/consoling a child. Also wash any bare skin that the child may have touched (such as the neck, face, or arms).
Plan for absenteeism/sick leave or further temporary closures by opting to provide continued access to fun activities. Options for children who are homebound can include the following:
- Prepare shoebox activities to send to homebound children.
- Set up a digital station, using relevant social media platforms, to encourage children to check-in with their peers and to allow for inclusion of homebound children in planned activities (e.g., Group exercise, Simon Says).
- Use of online/e-learning strategies.
- Assigning staff to plan for and conduct remote daily or weekly follow ups.
- Additional tips, activities, and resources may be found online. An example of such activities has been formulated by the Children’s Hospital of Orange County in California.
More than ever it’s increasingly important to maintain high levels of routine, responsivity, and nurturing for children. Children and adults have been significantly impacted by the closure of schools, change in routines, and drastic social adjustments. As a result, it is common to see an increase in problematic behaviours, anxiety, and depression. As many mood-related concerns typically present in behavioural disruptions in child-populations, symptoms may include: anger/irritability, frustration, crying, sadness, and limit testing. Below are some ways to address these concerns:
- Directly address questions and concerns using children’s books, online video content from safe websites, and simple explanations.
- Recognize that “All Behaviour is Communication.” Therefore, parents and staff should seek to understand the underlying cause/triggers of the behaviours in order to provide an appropriate response.
- Provide a safe and comfortable place for children who need a quiet space to decompress, meditate, listen to music, look at books, colour etc.
- Use the opportunity to focus on community helpers by highlighting the service men and women and the jobs they do for the community (e.g., nurses, doctors, grocers, police etc.).
- Most importantly, provide information in an honest, age-appropriate manner.
- Decrease access to contact points by using cloth face coverings and gloves to wipe tears or noses.
- Once the child has calmed, it will be important to wash hands or anywhere touched by a child’s tears, etc.
- Additional guidance is available from the World Health Organization (WHO) and can be found at the following website.
- Find an excellent resource for all staff here
- Lastly, it is important to note that children take their cues from their adult caregivers. Therefore, the emotional well-being of your parents and staff is pertinent. The following guidance related to well-being during COVID-19 has been provided by the Bermuda Government.
Transportation and Field Trips
No field trips should be held at this time.
Hand hygiene Sanitization / Cleaning
- All staff and children should wash hands with soap and water upon entering the facility (including returning from outdoor play), before and after meals, and after bathroom breaks for at least 20-seconds. The use of a timer is advised. Plan for refilling if tank water is used.
- Ensure that the building’s tank water has been treated before the start of the camp, as stagnant water (especially during the COVID-19, when very few buildings were occupied) should neither be consumed nor used for hand-washing.
- If soap and water are unavailable, hand sanitizer with at least 60% ethanol may be used.
- Provide additional hand sanitizer stations (e.g., wall mounted hand sanitizer dispensers and hand moisturizing lotion) in supervised areas.
- Teach children to cover their cough or sneeze into a tissue or sleeve. Immediately throw the tissue in the garbage and wash your hands.
- Teach children to avoid touching their face, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Operators should monitor hand hygiene supplies to ensure adequate amounts of liquid soap, paper towel, hand sanitizer, tissues, and waste receptacles lined with plastic bags.
- Please note that reusable hand towels are not advised. Ensure supplies of single-use paper towel, hand soap, and hand sanitizer are always stocked and available.
Environmental Cleaning, Disinfection, and Disposal
- Secure and dispose of trash daily.
- Provide lined, preferably covered and foot operated, waste receptacles for safe disposal of waste. Additional information may be found here.
- Facilities and materials should be cleaned and sanitized daily using the approved cleaning products or a professional cleaning company.
- Cleaning products should be labelled and safely stored away from children.
- Gloves should be accessible to staff for routine cleaning of materials and frequently touched surfaces (FTS).
- Plastic bags should be provided for soiled personal items and sent home. This may be particularly handy for children who are younger or have developmental delays.
- Increase cleaning of frequently touched surfaces (FTS) to include toys, computers, digital devices, counters, tables, desks, chairs, railings, light switches, door knobs, cabinets, and closet handles.
- Use alcohol wipes to clean keyboards and electronics after use.
- Rotate the materials and/or utensils that are out at any one time so that they can be adequately cleaned and sanitized.
- Post a visible cleaning roster to communicate cleaning intervals for staff to address, materials to be included, and who is responsible.
- General cleaning intervals should include cleaning prior to opening, before and after meals, anytime materials have been placed inside a child’s mouth, and at closing.
- All materials and surfaces are to be cleaned and disinfected daily.
Isolation Room Protocols
Ensure your isolation room is equipped to accommodate children needing to be separated and under supervision until a parent collects them.
Clean and disinfect the area immediately after the child with symptoms has been sent home.
Gloves and masks should be available for use in this space.
Outbreak Response Plan
Camp Leaders/Directors are required to identify an Outbreak Response Team. The team should consist of 2-4 people which may include a combination of leadership and staff.
Please refer to the attached Outbreak Response Guidance in Resources on the sidebar.
Confirmed Cases of Covid-19
In the event of a confirmed case of the virus in your Centre, IMMEDIATELY notify the Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit. At that time, you will be advised of next steps for your programme.