By now you've probably heard about the UK Government announcement for the return of all outdoor and indoor sports and fitness. This is great news for thousands of fitness and wellness professionals across the country and we're here to break down the guidelines so you can reopen your gym or studio safely.
From July 11th, the following outdoor activities and facilities are to be permitted:
- Organised team sports outdoors - subject to the relevant sport's guidance being published;
- Waterparks and swimming pools, hot tubs, hydrotherapy pools, whirlpools, jacuzzis;
- Sport and physical activity participation events.
From July 25th, the following indoor activities and facilities are to be permitted:
- Gyms, fitness studios and dance studios;
- Sports venues and facilities;
- Swimming pools, hot tubs, hydrotherapy pools, whirlpools, jacuzzis.
Measures set out in the guidance include:
- Limiting the number of people using the facility at any one time, for example by using a timed booking system;
- Reducing class sizes and allowing sufficient time between each class to avoid groups waiting outside during changeover;
- Ensuring an appropriate number of people are in a swimming pool at any one time;
- Spacing out equipment or taking some out of service to maintain social distancing;
- Enhanced cleaning and providing hand sanitiser throughout venues;
- Considering how the way people walk through their venue could be adjusted to reduce contact, with queue management or one-way systems;
- Ensuring adequate ventilation;
- Encouraging the use of outdoor spaces for individual, team or group activities, making sure to comply with the latest restrictions on public gatherings;
- Exercise or dance studios should have temporary floor markings where possible to help people stay distanced during classes;
- Customers and staff should be encouraged to shower and change at home wherever possible, although changing rooms will be available.
Using a Booking System
As mentioned about in the general guidance, the Government has recommended the use of an online booking system. Here are some specific reasons why:
- Informing customers and contractors of guidance about visiting the premises prior to and at the point of arrival (including information on websites, on booking forms and in entrance ways).
- Avoid paperwork being transferred by enabling such processes as bookings, rosters, ladders, etc. through online channels.
- Enabling a booking system or other approaches to managing demand, so that no more than the desired number of customers and staff are in the building at any one time.
- Where possible, operating on a book-in-advance basis. Online or over the phone is preferable.
- Controlling spectator numbers within controlled numbers through pre-booking, ticketing and other controls at access points.
- Minimising unnecessary contact at gatehouse security, yard and warehouse. For example, non-contact deliveries where the nature of the product allows for use of electronic pre-booking.
- Enabling a booking system or other approaches to manage demand for access to facilities, particularly for group sessions, so that no more than the desired number of participants are present at any one time.
Online scheduling and payments
- Organising numbers, routes, schedules for pools, golf courses and ranges, practice nets, climbing walls, similar equipment to maintain distancing.
- Contactless payments advisable throughout facility.
Minimising contacts around transactions, for example, considering using contactless payments, access to facilities, lockers or other storage.
- Minimising contact during payments and exchange of documentation, for example by using electronic payment methods and electronically signed and exchanged documents.
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