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OutdoorLads Covid-19 Policy for hostel and BIG events

OutdoorLads Covid-19 Policy for hostel and BIG events

Effective 19 July 2021 until further notice

Update as of 8 December 2021: Following today's announcement that "Plan  B" is now in place in England to help reduce the spread of the Omicrom variant, we are delighted to say that the OutdoorLads hostel event programme can continue under the existing policy as per below. However, we'd now ask that all attendees at hostels complete a lateral flow test (FLT) in the 24 hours before the event commences in addition to the below, to help keep everyone safe. 


OutdoorLads has been considering the appropriate stance on attendance at our hostel and BIG events in light of the pandemic. We want to enjoy being back together and taking part in events, but to balance that with keeping everyone safe and playing our part in keeping transmission of the virus low. We are therefore following government guidance on the issue for hostel and BIG events that take place at least partly indoors where the risk of transmission is higher.

For clarity, this policy does NOT apply at day events that take place exclusively outside. It does not usually apply at camping events that take place exclusively outside, except for our BIG events. (There may be exceptions, which we will make clear in communications with you.) However, we actively encourage members to voluntarily make use of the lateral flow tests prior to attendance at all OutdoorLads events.

From 19 July 2021 and until notified otherwise, attendance at our BIG events and hostel events will require proof of your vaccination status and / or a recent test result that shows you do not have the virus.

When you arrive at a hostel or BIG event, you will be asked to confirm that you do not currently show any symptoms of Covid-19. We will also need to see evidence from you that one of the below applies:

  • You were fully vaccinated at least 2 weeks ago
  • You have reported a negative lateral flow test within the last 48 hours
  • You have had a confirmed diagnosis of Covid-19 in the last six months and your isolation period has ended.

This is most easily evidenced by:


But I’ve not had two vaccinations and so can’t get this proof?

That’s fine, a lateral flow test taken within the last 48 hours (but ideally on the start day of the event) can also be used. In England, this can be reported via the government website and will update your NHS App to give you the NHS Covid Pass almost instantly.

Residents of England, Scotland and Wales can obtain a pack of seven lateral flow tests for free, either delivered to your home (order here on the Gov.UK website) or pick up a pack locally – see here to search for pick up points near you. Please order / pick up lateral flow tests in good time for the event.

When you have completed the test and reported it as per the instructions to NHS Test and Trace, you will receive an e-mail confirmation from them almost straight away, and you can show us this e-mail on your phone, dated within the last 48 hours, in order to gain entry to the event.


Oops! I’ve forgotten to get lateral flow tests before arriving at the event – help!

Not to worry. At the BIG Birthday Weekend and BIG Summer Camp, we’ll have a limited number of lateral flow test kits available for this eventuality. You’ll need to come and see us (wearing a mask, please) to collect a kit, and then quickly return to your car (or somewhere outside and away from others) to take the test. Results take thirty minutes, so you’ll not be able to come inside, pitch your tent or interact with others during that time. If the result is negative, please bring it back to us to and we’ll welcome you into the event. If it is positive, you’ll need to call or e-mail us on to tell us that you’ll not be attending, and then swiftly go home without interacting with others and follow the NHS guidance on self-isolation, here.  

At our regular hostel events, we will try to have some test kits available, but we can’t guarantee availability, and therefore we’d ask you to make arrangements as set our above in advance of arriving at the event.


I don’t believe in testing or vaccinations.

It’s your choice not to have a vaccination and that’s fine.

However, at OutdoorLads we have to act in the best interests of the overall group and it’s members, and our decision is driven by the desire to keep our members safe.

Lateral flow tests are a resource that are available to all, so we are not aware of a reason why you cannot complete a lateral flow test. Either proof of vaccination or a negative test result is required for access to hostel and BIG events and no exceptions will be made. Refunds will not be issued in this instance.

Having said that, we realise this is a change to our terms and conditions. If this decision means you no longer wish to attend an event you booked before 20th July 2021, you can cancel for a full refund provided you cancel on or before 26th July 2021. After that date, our usual refund policy applies to all events.

If you received an email on 17th August 2021 regarding your place on a 2022 event, you are able to cancel for a full refund as above until and including Tuesday 24th August 2021.

I’ve tested positive for Covid – what’s the policy on refunds?

We will happily provide a full refund for those who have tested positive and are unable to attend the event, upon receipt of the e-mail informing you of your test result. Please forward it to and let us know which event it is that you are cancelling attendance at.

The same applies if you have been asked to self-isolate because a close contact has tested positive, again we will need to see the e-mail or notification advising you to self isolate.


Any questions?

If you have any questions about the above, please contact us on and we’ll help you out. This includes for example, if you are not resident in England, Scotland or Wales, have been on vaccination trials and can’t obtain the necessary evidence, or other issues that may arise.

This policy is effective from 19 July 2021 until further notice, and will be reviewed frequently as deemed appropriate in light of changing circumstances.