Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Providers of grassroots sport and sport facilities

Guidance for people who work in grassroots sport and sport facilities.

Applies to: England (see guidance for Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland)

A new COVID-19 variant is spreading in some parts of England. There may be additional advice for your area. Find out what you should do.

COVID-19 roadmap

The government has published the COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021 setting out the roadmap out of the current lockdown for England. This explains how the government intends to ease restrictions over time.

This guidance includes changes to restrictions for Step 3, which came into effect on 17 May. It will be updated ahead of further steps, which are set out in the roadmap. COVID-secure measures, including social distancing requirements, continue to apply in the workplace, and in businesses and public venues.

This guide was updated on 16 May 2021.

What’s changed

This guide was updated on 16 May to reflect Step 3 of the roadmap.

Introduction

In this section:

What this guidance covers

This guide will help those in the sport and physical activity sector understand how to make their workplaces COVID-secure. It covers practical steps that employers, employees and volunteers need to take to work safely. It also applies to sport providers if they are the facility operator.

This includes guidance on how to operate safely within the current restrictions, for those venues which are permitted to operate. It also includes guidance for closed venues, which will help you to prepare for reopening when it is safe to do so.

Who this guidance is for

This guidance applies to all indoor and outdoor sport facilities, including:

  • Indoor gyms and leisure centres
  • sport courts and pitches
  • swimming pools
  • fitness studios
  • golf courses and other single or multi-sport facilities (such as climbing walls, driving and shooting ranges, archery venues and riding centres, and skate parks)

It also includes guidance for providers of saunas, steam rooms and hot tubs such as spa pools or hydrotherapy pools, which may be located in a sport facility or another type of facility.

This guidance does not apply to:

  • Facilities which can be used for sport but are primarily used for leisure (such as trampoline parks, bowling alleys and ice rinks) or which provide physical activity which is not a recognised sport (such as airsoft venues) unless these facilities are opening for the provision of elite sport. These types of facilities should follow guidance for the visitor economy.
  • Children’s playgrounds, which should follow the guidance for outdoor gyms and playgrounds, or guidance for soft play areas.

How to use this guidance

  1. You need to do a COVID-19 risk assessment to identify and manage any potential risks. This includes the risks and actions in this document, as well as any you identify that are specific to your business or site. You can find more information about COVID-19 risk assessments in the section on how to do a COVID-19 risk assessment.

  2. This guidance gives you key principles to follow in relation to risks in the workplace for your sector, and suggests actions you should take to mitigate these risks. You should consider how best to mitigate these risks, and take the actions which are most appropriate for your organisation.

  3. This guidance does not supersede any of your existing legal obligations relating to health and safety, employment or equalities.

  4. This guidance applies to volunteers as well as employed staff.

  5. You should follow the steps set out in this guidance as well as reviewing any relevant guidance produced for your sector (by trade bodies, industry bodies or other organisations in your sector). For example, you can find more detailed advice for gym and leisure facilities from ukactive, and resources for supporting your workforce from the Chartered Institute of Management in Sport & Physical Activity (CIMSPA).

  6. If there are any additional facilities within your premises (such as cafes and bars, personal care services (such as massage therapy or physical therapy), or retail shops) or you are running certain types of events, there may be additional restrictions on those facilities or activities. You should check the guidance for relevant facilities or events (you can find links in the section on where to find more information and ensure you adhere to any relevant measures.

  7. You can find more detailed advice on sport provision in the grassroots sport guidance for the public and sport providers and the guidance for safe provision of grassroots sport (including team sport, contact combat sport and organised sport events). All facilities running activities for under-18s should also consult the relevant sport’s safeguarding guidance, and any relevant guidance from the Department for Education on education, universities and childcare. As well as advice for schools there is guidance on out-of-school settings, which sets out practical steps providers of community activities, after-school clubs and other out-of-school provision should take to minimise the risk of transmission for children attending their activities.

Priority actions to take

You should follow all the steps set out in this document in order for your workplace to be COVID-secure. The following key steps are a summary of the priority actions you need to take to protect yourself, your staff and your customers.

  1. Complete a COVID-19 risk assessment, including consideration of the reasonable adjustments needed for staff and customers with disabilities. Share it with all your staff. You can find more information in the section on how to do a COVID-19 risk assessment.

  2. Clean more often. Increase how often you clean surfaces, especially those that are being touched a lot. Ask your staff and your customers to use hand sanitiser and wash their hands frequently. You can find more information in the section on keeping the site clean.

  3. Ask your customers to wear face coverings where required to do so by law, and in any indoor space. This is especially important if your customers are likely to be around people they do not normally meet. You can find more information in the section on face coverings and PPE, and more detail on face coverings and exemptions in the government guidance on face coverings.

  4. Make sure everyone can maintain social distancing. Social distancing guidance continues to apply in workplaces, in businesses and in venues open to the public. Make it easy for everyone to understand by putting up signs or introducing a one-way system that your customers can follow. You can find more information in the section on working with the public.

  5. Provide adequate ventilation where people are in enclosed spaces. This can be natural ventilation (opening windows, doors and vents), mechanical ventilation (fans and ducts), or a combination of both. The maximum occupancy of each indoor facility should be limited by providing a minimum of 100sqft per person. Consider implementing additional capacity limits for smaller enclosed spaces, such as changing rooms, studios and weights rooms. You can find more information in the section on ventilation and the HSE guidance on ventilation and air conditioning.

  6. Take part in NHS Test and Trace if this applies to your facility or organisation, by keeping a record of all your customers, visitors and staff for 21 days. You can find more information in the section on NHS Test and Trace, and more detail on how to keep records in the NHS Test and Trace guidance.

  7. Turn people with coronavirus symptoms away. If a staff member (or someone in their household) or a customer has a persistent cough, a high temperature or has lost their sense of taste or smell, they should self-isolate and get a test. You can find more information in the section on people who need to self-isolate.

  8. Engage with returning visiting instructors and volunteers. Ensure they are aware of the rules on sport and physical activity, and any specific safety measures you have put in place in your facility. Work with instructors to understand the number of facilities they visit and minimise contacts. Consult volunteers to understand their responsibilities and provide relevant training material to help them return to a facility or sport. You can find more information in the section on managing your workforce.

  9. Minimise risk in changing rooms and showers. Ensure they are cleaned frequently, and that social distancing can be maintained. Discourage the use of changing rooms wherever possible, including by informing customers that these are areas of increased risk of transmission, they should arrive ready to participate and shower at home, and they should minimise time spent inside. You can find more information in the section on changing rooms and showers.

  10. Ensure customers can use your facility safely. Inform them of the rules on group sizes (during, as well as before and after, the activity) and how they can take part in sport. Minimise sharing of equipment. If equipment is shared, ensure it is cleaned between users. You can find more information in the section on keeping the site clean.

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Coronavirus restrictions

In this section:

Coronavirus restrictions are currently in place in England. Find out about what you can and cannot do.

This page includes guidance on how to operate safely within the current restrictions, for those venues which are permitted to operate. It also includes guidance for closed venues, which will help you to prepare for reopening when it is safe to do so.

This guidance includes changes to restrictions for Step 3, which came into effect on 17 May. It will be updated ahead of further steps, which are set out in the roadmap.

Key information for your sector

Outdoor sport facilities

  • Outdoor sport facilities can open to the public. This applies to all outdoor sport facilities, including outdoor gyms, swimming pools, courts, pitches, golf courses (including mini-golf), water sports venues, climbing walls, driving and shooting ranges, riding arenas at riding centres and archery venues. Outdoor skating rinks and outdoor trampolining parks can open to the public, and from 17 May can open indoor areas and facilities.
  • Changing rooms can open but their use should be discouraged. You should inform customers that these are areas of increased risk, that they should shower and change at home where possible, and, if they do need to use changing rooms, they should minimise time spent inside. You should ensure that social distancing can be maintained and customers are aware that they must adhere to legal gathering limits. You can find more information in the section on changing rooms and showers.
  • Adults and children can take part in outdoor sport with any number of participants, where it is formally organised (for example, by a national governing body, business or charity) and follow measures including COVID-secure guidance. This applies to organised outdoor (individual and team) sports, outdoor exercise classes, organised sports participation events and outdoor licensed physical activity. Additional measures apply to some higher-risk activities, such as limits on contact in contact combat sports and some team sports. You can find more information in the guidance for safe provision of grassroots sport, or from the relevant sport’s national governing body.
  • When not taking part in organised sport, people using your facility must adhere to the rules on social contact. People can meet outdoors in groups of up to 30. In indoor areas, people can gather in groups of up to 6 people, or 2 households/bubbles.
  • You can find more information on these measures in the section on changes to operations.

Indoor sport facilities

  • Indoor sport facilities can open to the public. This applies to indoor sport and physical activity facilities including gyms and leisure centres, sport courts and pitches, dance studios and fitness studios, climbing walls and climbing wall centres, multi-sport facilities (including driving ranges, archery venues and indoor riding centres) and swimming pools. Indoor skating rinks and trampoline parks can open to the public from 17 May.
  • Saunas and steam rooms can open to the public from 17 May. Restrictions apply to how these services operate. You can find more information in the section on managing sport facility amenities.
  • Capacity limits (100sqft per person) apply to indoor sport facilities, and you must provide adequate ventilation where people are in enclosed spaces. This can be natural ventilation (opening windows, doors and vents), mechanical ventilation (fans and ducts), or a combination of both. You can find more information in the section on ventilation.
  • Changing rooms can open but their use should be discouraged. You should inform customers that these are areas of increased risk of transmission, that they should shower and change at home where possible and, if they do need to use changing rooms, they should minimise time spent inside. Customers using changing rooms must adhere to gathering limits and and should be able to maintain social distancing while using the facilities. You can find more information in the section on changing rooms and showers.
  • Organised indoor sport for adults and children can take place with any number of participants, where it is formally organised (for example, by a national governing body, business or charity) and follows measures including COVID-secure guidance. This applies to organised indoor (individual and team) sports, contact combat sports, indoor exercise classes and organised sport participation events. Additional measures apply to some higher-risk activities, such as limits on contact in contact combat sports and some team sports. You can find more information in the guidance for safe provision of grassroots sport, or from the relevant sport’s national governing body.
  • Children can take part in indoor childcare and supervised activities, including sport and physical activity (such as community sport clubs), with any number of participants.
  • Informal or self-organised sport can only take place within the rules on social contact - in groups of up to 6 people, or a group of 2 households/bubbles.
  • When not taking part in organised sport, people using sport facilities must adhere to the rules on social contact. In indoor areas, people can gather in groups of up to 6 people, or 2 households/bubbles. In outdoor areas, people can meet in groups of up to 30.
  • You can find more information on these measures in the section on changes to operations.

Spectators

  • From 17 May, spectators are permitted at grassroots sport events, but capacity limits apply.
  • Indoor grassroots sport events can take place with up to 1,000 people or 50% of a site or venue’s capacity (whichever is lower). Organisers should ensure that events taking place in indoor sports facilities adhere to their existing capacity limit based on ventilation requirements. This means that a minimum of 100sqft per person should be provided to all people in the venue (excluding venue and event staff). You can find more information in the section on ventilation.
  • Outdoor grassroots sport events can take place with up to 1,000 people or 50% of a site or venue’s capacity (whichever is lower).
  • These capacity limits apply to participants in the event (and relevant coaches and officials) as well as spectators. They do not apply to staff working or volunteering at the venue.
  • This applies to all types of events except organised sports participation events, where the capacity limit applies to spectators only (i.e. participants and officials are not counted towards the total).
  • Spectators must adhere to legal gathering limits.
    - Outdoors, spectators can gather in groups of up to 30. Gatherings of more than 30 people remain illegal (unless an exemption applies).
    - Indoors, unless an exemption applies, spectators can only gather in groups of up to 6 people, or as a group of two households. A group made up of 2 households can include more than 6 people, but only where all members of the group are from the same 2 households (and each household can include an existing support bubble, if eligible).

You can find more detailed advice on how to take part in sport and physical activity in the grassroots sport guidance for the public and sport providers and the guidance for safe provision of grassroots sport (including team sport, contact combat sport and organised sport events).

Workplace testing

About 1 in 3 people with coronavirus do not have symptoms but can still infect others.

You can reduce the risk of the virus spreading by asking your employees to get tested regularly. Employees can access testing free of charge at home or at a test site. Those businesses that registered before 12 April 2021 can order free rapid lateral flow tests until 30 June 2021. Those that did not register can pay an approved provider to provide tests or run a test site.

You can find further information in the section on testing and vaccinations and the guidance on coronavirus tests for employees.

Other relevant measures

Social contact:

  • People can meet others from different households outdoors, though gatherings of more than 30 people remain illegal (unless an exemption applies).
  • Indoors, unless an exemption applies, people may only meet in groups of up to 6 people, or as a group of 2 households. A group made up of 2 households can include more than 6 people, but only where all members of the group are from the same 2 households (and each household can include an existing support bubble, if eligible).
  • You can find more information in the coronavirus restrictions guidance, and the section on working with the public.

Hospitality:

  • Hospitality venues such as restaurants, cafes and bars can open to the public for indoor and outdoor service (and can continue to offer takeaway food and drinks).
  • Restrictions apply, including measures on table sizes and how customers are served. You can find more information in the section on changes to facilities and services and the guidance for restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services.

Close contact services and personal care facilities:

  • Personal care facilities (such as hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons, spas and massage services and physiotherapy services) can open to the public.
  • Saunas and steam rooms can open to the public from 17 May. Restrictions apply to how these facilities can operate.
  • You can find more information in the guidance for close contact services (for personal care facilities), and in the section on managing sport facility amenities (for saunas and steam rooms).

Retail:

  • Shops and stores attached to your venue can open to the public.
  • You should check the guidance for retail shops, stores and branches, and ensure you adhere to any relevant measures.

Visitor attractions and recreational venues:

  • Indoor and outdoor visitor attractions and recreational venues can open both indoor and outdoor areas.
  • Many entertainment settings (including bowling alleys, and snooker and pool halls) can open to the public.
  • You can find more information in the guidance for heritage locations and visitor economy settings.

Events and meetings:

  • In-person meetings can take place when reasonably necessary. Business show-rounds, viewings and site visits can take place at sport venues.
  • Permitted venues (including conference centres and exhibition halls) may host business events such as conferences, trade shows, exhibitions, charity auctions, private dining events such as charity or gala dinners and awards ceremonies, and corporate hospitality. Events must adhere to legal requirements and other measures, including following COVID-secure guidance. Capacity restrictions apply to both indoor and outdoor events.
  • Indoor and outdoor events can take place, with COVID-secure measures and capacity limits in place. Events permitted in Step 3 (which include live performances) must adhere to legal requirements and other measures, including following COVID-secure guidance. Capacity restrictions apply to both indoor and outdoor events.
  • You can find more information in the guidance for visitor economy settings.

Where a premises or venue delivers a mix of services, only those services that are permitted to be open should be available.

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1. COVID-19 risks

In this section:

1.1 How to do a COVID-19 risk assessment

As an employer, you must protect people from harm. This includes taking reasonable steps to protect your workers and others from coronavirus. Considering these risks and how to manage them is called a COVID-19 risk assessment and it will help you manage risk and protect people.

Failure to carry out a suitable and sufficient risk assessment and put in place sufficient control measures to manage the risk may be considered a breach of health and safety law.

While you cannot completely eliminate the risk of COVID-19, you need to think about the risks your staff and others face and do everything reasonably practicable to minimise them. Your risk assessment will help you decide whether you have done everything you need to.

How to do a COVID-19 risk assessment:

COVID-19 is a hazard in the workplace and should be managed in the same way as other workplace hazards. This includes completing a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks of COVID-19 in the workplace and identifying control measures to manage that risk. If you have fewer than 5 workers, or are self-employed, you don’t have to put your risk assessment in writing, but it can be useful to do so.

The Health and Safety Executive has published information on how to do a COVID-19 risk assessment, and you can also find more resources in their general advice on managing risk and risk assessments.

In your risk assessment you should:

  • identify what work activity or situations might cause transmission of the virus
  • think about who could be at risk
  • decide how likely it is that someone could be exposed
  • act to remove the activity or situation, or if this isn’t possible, control the risk

Your COVID-19 risk assessment should include an up-to-date plan for what you will do in the event of an outbreak in your workplace. This includes nominating a member of staff as the single point of contact (SPOC) who will contact local Public Health teams. You can find more information and resources on handling outbreaks in the section on COVID-19 cases or outbreaks in the workplace.

Your risk assessment should also take into account the impact of your policies on groups who have protected characteristics, and to those who are more at risk of being infected with COVID-19 or have a higher risk of serious illness. You can find more information in the section on protecting people at higher risk.

Consulting your workers

Employers have a duty to consult their workers on health and safety matters. You can do this by listening and talking to them about the work they do and how you will manage the risks from COVID-19.

You could consult the health and safety representative selected by a recognised trade union or, if there isn’t one, a representative chosen by workers. As an employer, you cannot decide who the representative will be.

Raising concerns:

Employers and workers should always come together to resolve issues.

If concerns still cannot be resolved, you or your workers can contact your employee representative, or your trade union if you have one.

You can also contact HSE’s COVID-19 enquiries team:

1.2 Key actions to include

As an employer, you have a duty to reduce workplace risk to the lowest reasonably practicable level by taking preventative measures. You should make sure your risk assessment includes the following key action areas, as well as any risks and issues specific to your organisation, so that everybody’s health and safety is protected.

Remember that a risk assessment is not a fixed document, and you should update it when risks change or new issues occur. You must also review the measures you have put in place to make sure they are working, if there are changes to the law or government guidance which affect your workplace, or if there are changes in the workplace that could lead to new risks.

Key points to consider in your risk assessment:

  1. Ensure that workers, customers and visitors who feel unwell do not come to the workplace. By law, businesses must not require a self-isolating worker to work anywhere other than where they are self-isolating (normally their home). See the section on who should go to the workplace for more information.

  2. Remind customers, visitors and staff to wear face coverings where they are required (e.g. by putting up signs). It is a legal requirement for staff and customers to wear face coverings in certain settings such as retail and hospitality venues, unless an exemption applies. In these settings, businesses also have a legal duty to remind people to wear face coverings. See the section on face coverings and PPE for more information.

  3. Increase the frequency of cleaning for higher-risk areas (such as surfaces) and encourage frequent hand washing. See the section on managing your facility for more information.

  4. Make every reasonable effort to ensure your staff can work safely. This includes consideration of reasonable adjustments for employees or customers with disabilities, including hidden disabilities that are not immediately obvious. This also includes following government guidance on whether staff should work from home. For those who can’t work from home, ensuring that COVID-secure guidance is closely followed in the workplace. See the section on who should go to the workplace for more information.

  5. Ensure that social distancing can be maintained within your facility. COVID-secure measures, including social distancing guidance, continue to apply in the workplace, and in businesses and public venues. You should calculate the number of people that can be accommodated in your facility with social distancing (2 metres distance from others, or at least 1m with additional control measures where 2m is not possible) in place. Where social distancing guidelines cannot be followed in full for a particular activity, consider redesigning the activity or taking further steps (such as using fixed teams or putting up screens) to mitigate risk. See the section on managing your workforce for more information.

  6. Assess the risk levels of relevant activities (and any mitigations you put in place), to determine whether the activities can safely go ahead. If a high-risk activity (such as working face-to-face for a sustained period) cannot be redesigned, consider whether the activity needs to continue for the business to operate and take all mitigating actions possible to reduce the risks. Nobody is obliged to work in an unsafe environment, so you should take steps to keep your staff safe and take into account the impact on people with higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19. See the section on managing your workforce for more information.

  7. Consider the risks arising from periods of closure. If your building is unoccupied or has reduced occupancy during a period of restrictions, you should take steps to manage any risks that could arise when reopening (for example, by reviewing HSE’s guidance on the risk of legionella). See the section on reopening after a period of closure for more information.

  8. Ensure you are providing adequate ventilation where people are in enclosed spaces. This can be natural ventilation (through opening doors, windows and vents), mechanical ventilation using fans and ducts, or a combination of both. You can find more information in the section on ventilation and the HSE guidance on ventilation and air conditioning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

1.3 How to share your risk assessment

You should share the results of your risk assessment to show your workers and customers that you have properly assessed the risk levels and taken appropriate mitigating measures.

What you should do:

  1. Share the results of your risk assessment with your workforce

  2. If possible, consider publishing the results on your website (and we would expect all businesses with more than 50 staff to do so)

  3. Display the COVID-secure notice (below) in your workplace, to show you have followed this guidance

Download the COVID-secure notice for your workplace.

1.4 COVID-19 cases or outbreaks in the workplace

You should ensure you and any relevant staff (such as managers or supervisors) are aware of the steps to take if there is a case or outbreak of COVID-19 in your workplace.

What you should do:

  1. Ensure you have an up-to-date plan setting out the steps to take if there is a COVID-19 outbreak in your workplace or facility. This includes designating a single point of contact (SPOC) who will lead on contacting local Public Health teams.

  2. Contact your local PHE health protection team if you’ve had an outbreak and need further guidance. Find your local PHE health protection team.

  3. If the local PHE health protection team declares an outbreak, you will be asked to record details of symptomatic staff and assist with identifying contacts. You should therefore ensure all employment records are up to date. You will be provided with information about the outbreak management process, which will help you to implement control measures, assist with communications to staff, and reinforce prevention messages.

1.5 NHS Test & Trace

The rules on what you need to do when a group enters your venue have changed.

If this applies to your facility, you must ask every customer or visitor aged 16 and over to scan the NHS QR code using their NHS COVID-19 app or provide their name and contact details, not just a lead member of the group. This is to ensure everyone receives the necessary public health advice in a timely manner.

You can find more information in the guidance on NHS Test and Trace.

Many sport and leisure facilities are required to keep a record of all visitors, customers and staff on the premises, to support NHS Test and Trace.

This includes:

  • indoor sport facilities
  • gyms and leisure centres
  • clubs providing team sport activities
  • outdoor swimming pools and lidos
  • sport and massage therapists
  • services provided for social and recreational purposes in youth and community centres and village halls
  • hospitality venues (such as pubs, restaurants, cafes and bars) within a sport facility

However this does not apply to all facilities (for example, it does not apply to outdoor sport club activity in public places where it is not possible or practical to collect information from all spectators), so you should check the NHS Test and Trace guidance to see if this applies to you.

Where this applies, you must collect contact details from all visitors and customers aged 16 or over (unless an exemption applies, such as people only visiting your site to make a delivery) as well as all staff. You must also display an official NHS QR code poster so that customers and visitors can ‘check in’ using this option as an alternative to providing their contact details. You do not have to ask people who choose to ‘check in’ using the official NHS QR code to provide their contact details. However, you must still have a system to collect (and securely store) names and contact details for those who prefer to provide their information, or do not have access to a smartphone. You do not need to ask customers to do both, nor do you need to verify an individual’s details or identity. You can find more guidance (including advice on how to collect contact information, and the information you need to collect) in the NHS Test and Trace guidance.

You need to keep these records for 21 days and make them available when requested by NHS Test and Trace or local public health officials, to help contain clusters or outbreaks.

Hospitality venues (such as pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés) have additional requirements and must also take reasonable steps to refuse entry to anyone who refuses to participate. This requirement applies to any establishment that provides an on-site service and to any events that take place on its premises. It does not apply where services are taken off-site immediately, such as kiosks or bars on concourses which only provide takeaway food and drinks. If a business offers a mixture of a sit-in and takeaway service, contact information only needs to be sought for customers who are dining in. This could be asked for at the counter, rather than the point of entry, when servers can more easily ask the customer whether they are dining in or taking away. You can find more information on measures for hospitality venues in the guidance for restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services.

Other types of venues do not need to refuse entry to those that do not wish to participate, but you have a legal duty to ask all customers and visitors to take part.

If your site contains several individual venues, you as the wider venue operator are still required to collect details of staff, customers and visitors at the main entrance.

If your business is within a larger venue, you are only required to collect details of customers, visitors and staff in addition to the main entrance if you are a hospitality service, (such as a cafe within a stately home or castle). Other types of businesses are not required to collect details, when they exist within a larger premises already required to collect details.

You can find more guidance (including the rules for different settings) in the NHS Test and Trace guidance.

What you must do:

  1. Ask every customer or visitor aged 16 and over to provide their name and contact details.

  2. Keep a record of all staff working on your premises and shift times on a given day, and their contact details.

  3. Keep these records of customers, visitors and staff for 21 days and provide data to NHS Test and Trace if requested.

  4. Display an official NHS QR code poster, so that customers and visitors can ‘check in’ using this option, as an alternative to providing their contact details. Have a system to collect (and securely store) names and contact details for those who do not have access to a smartphone or prefer not to use the app.

  5. Ensure you manage this information in line with data protection regulations.

This is a legal requirement and failure to comply is punishable by fines. You can find out more about these requirements in the NHS Test and Trace guidance.

1.6 Who should go to the workplace

Anyone who can work from home should do so. If it is unreasonable for people to work from home, they can go to their place of work.

You should review your business or facility management plans and consult your employees to determine who needs to come into the workplace, giving extra consideration to those people at higher risk.

What you should do:

  1. Consider the maximum number of people who can be safely accommodated on the site.

  2. Monitor the wellbeing of staff who are working from home and help them to stay connected to the rest of the workforce, especially if the majority of their colleagues are on-site.

  3. Keep in touch with off-site workers on their working arrangements, including their welfare, physical and mental health and personal security.

  4. Provide equipment to allow staff to work from home safely and effectively, such as remote access to work systems. Consider how best to account for different types of needs, including the needs of people with disabilities.

1.7 Protecting people who are at higher risk

There are some groups who are at higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus, who may be advised to take extra precautions to protect themselves. See guidance on who is at higher risk from coronavirus and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable.

As an employer, you should make sure suitable arrangements are in place so that they can work safely. Government advice is that clinically extremely vulnerable people no longer need to shield, and should follow the general coronavirus restrictions which apply to everyone.

Clinically extremely vulnerable people are advised to work from home where possible but can still attend work if they cannot work from home. Employers should consider whether clinically extremely vulnerable individuals can take on an alternative role or change their working patterns temporarily to avoid travelling during busy periods.  

What you should do:

  1. See current guidance on who is at higher risk from coronavirus, and protecting vulnerable workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, and put measures in place to ensure the workplace is COVID-secure.

  2. Provide support to staff who are clinically extremely vulnerable, and consider options for altering work arrangements temporarily (if needed) so they can avoid travelling during busy periods.

  3. Provide mental health and wellbeing support for workers. This could include advice or telephone support.

1.8 People who need to self-isolate

All businesses are prohibited from requiring self-isolating workers to come into work.

If you are made aware of a worker needing to self-isolate, you must ensure that they do not come to the workplace. It is against the law for you to knowingly require or encourage someone who is required to self-isolate to come to the workplace. This includes people with a positive test, people who are advised to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app, and people required to self-isolate in relation to travel.

What you should do:

  1. Ensure workers who are required to self-isolate do not come into the workplace.

  2. Enable staff to work from home while self-isolating, if appropriate.

  3. Ensure you and your staff are familiar with the symptoms of COVID-19 (a high temperature, new and persistent cough, or a loss of/change in sense of taste or smell) and what they should do if they develop symptoms or are required to isolate.

  4. Review guidance for employers and employees on statutory sick pay due to coronavirus.

You can find more information in the guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection, for contacts of people with confirmed coronavirus infection who do not live with the person, and what to do if you’re told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app.

1.9 Equality in the workplace

When you are applying this guidance, you should be mindful of the particular needs of different groups of workers or individuals. For instance, employers have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to avoid disabled workers being put at a disadvantage compared to non-disabled people in the workplace.

It is breaking the law to discriminate, directly or indirectly, against anyone because of a protected characteristic such as age, ethnicity, sex or disability.

Employers also have particular responsibilities towards disabled workers and those who are new or expectant mothers.

What you should do:

  1. Take steps to understand the particular circumstances of those with different protected characteristics, and take them into account in your working safely policies.

  2. Involve and communicate appropriately with staff whose protected characteristics might either expose them to a different degree of risk, or might make any steps you are thinking about inappropriate or challenging for them.

    Measures such as social distancing may not be possible or will be more challenging for workers with certain disabilities, such as individuals in wheelchairs or with vision impairments. You should discuss with disabled employees what reasonable adjustments can be made to the workplace so they can work safely.

  3. Consider whether you need to put in place any particular measures or adjustments to take account of your duties under the equalities legislation.

  4. Make reasonable adjustments to avoid disabled staff being put at a disadvantage, and assess the health and safety risks for new or expectant mothers.

  5. Make sure that the steps you take do not have an unjustifiable negative impact on some groups compared to others, for example, those with caring responsibilities or those with religious commitments.

1.10 Testing and vaccinations

It’s important that you continue to put measures in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, including maintaining social distancing where possible, frequent cleaning, good hygiene and adequate ventilation, even if your employees have:

  • received a recent negative test result
  • had the vaccine (either 1 or 2 doses)

About 1 in 3 people with coronavirus do not have symptoms but can still infect others. You can reduce the risk of the virus spreading by asking your employees to get tested regularly.

Where you are providing testing on-site, you should ensure that workplace testing is carried out in a safe manner, and in an appropriate setting where control measures are in place to manage the risk of COVID-19 transmission during the testing process. These include maintaining social distancing where possible, frequent cleaning, good hygiene and adequate ventilation. You should also ensure that an appropriate setting is available for individuals to wait in while their test is processed.

Anyone with symptoms should get a free NHS test as soon as possible.

Ordering COVID-19 tests for employees with no coronavirus symptoms

If you registered for workplace testing before 12 April 2021, you can continue to order free rapid lateral flow tests until 30 June 2021.

If you did not register, you can choose to:

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2. Managing operations

In this section:

2.1 Changes to operations

Measures to control the infection rate may restrict your operations, including whether you can open and how people can use your venue. Enforcement action can be taken against businesses or organisations that do not comply with the law. You can find more information on compliance and enforcement in the guidance on closing certain businesses and venues in England.

For more detailed advice on sport restrictions, see the grassroots sport guidance for the public and sport providers and guidance for safe provision of grassroots sport (including team sport, contact combat sport and organised sport events).

Outdoor sport facilities

  • Outdoor sport facilities can open to the public. This applies to all outdoor sport facilities, including outdoor gyms, outdoor swimming pools, courts, pitches, golf courses (including mini-golf), water sports venues, climbing walls, driving and shooting ranges, riding arenas at riding centres and archery venues. Outdoor skating rinks and outdoor trampolining parks can open to the public, and from 17 May can open indoor areas and facilities.

  • Changing rooms can open but their use should be discouraged. You should inform customers that these are areas of increased risk, that they should shower and change at home where possible, and, if they do need to use changing rooms, they should minimise time spent inside. Customers using changing rooms must adhere to gathering limits and should be able to maintain social distancing while using the facilities. You can find more information in the section on changing rooms and showers.

  • Adults and children can take part in outdoor sport with any number of participants, where it is formally organised (for example, by a national governing body, business or charity), and follow measures including COVID-secure guidance. This applies to organised outdoor (individual and team) sports, outdoor exercise classes, organised sports participation events and outdoor licensed physical activity. Additional measures apply to some higher-risk activities, such as limits on contact in contact combat sports and some team sports. You can find more information in the guidance for safe provision of grassroots sport, or from the relevant sport’s national governing body.

  • When not taking part in organised sport, people using your facility must adhere to the rules on social contact. People can meet outdoors in groups of up to 30. In indoor areas, people can gather in groups of up to 6 people, or 2 households/bubbles. You can find more information in the section on working with the public.

  • Children under 18 can take part in outdoor childcare and supervised activities, including sport and physical activity (such as community sport clubs).

  • Spectators are permitted to attend sporting events, but capacity limits apply. Spectators must adhere to legal gathering limits (groups of up to 30 people) and you should ensure that spectator areas allow for social distancing to be maintained. You can find more information in the section on spectators.

Indoor sport facilities

  • Indoor sport facilities can open to the public. This applies to indoor sport and physical activity facilities including gyms and leisure centres, sport courts and pitches, dance studios and fitness studios, climbing walls and climbing wall centres, multi-sport facilities (including driving ranges, archery venues and indoor riding centres) and swimming pools. Indoor skating rinks and trampoline parks can open to the public from 17 May.

  • Saunas and steam rooms can open to the public from 17 May. Restrictions apply to how these services operate. You can find more information in the section on managing sport facility amenities.

  • Capacity limits (100sqft per person) apply to indoor sport facilities, and you must provide adequate ventilation where people are in enclosed spaces. This can be natural ventilation (opening windows, doors and vents), mechanical ventilation (fans and ducts), or a combination of both. You can find more information in the section on ventilation.

  • Changing rooms can open but their use should be discouraged. You should inform customers that these are areas of increased risk of transmission, that they should shower and change at home where possible and, if they do need to use changing rooms, they should minimise time spent inside. Customers using changing rooms must adhere to gathering limits and and should be able to maintain social distancing while using the facilities. You can find more information in the section on changing rooms and showers.

  • Organised indoor sport for adults and children can take place with any number of participants, where it is formally organised (for example, by a national governing body, business or charity) and follows measures including COVID-secure guidance. This applies to organised indoor (individual and team) sports, contact combat sports, indoor exercise classes and organised sport participation events. Additional measures apply to some higher-risk activities, such as limits on contact in contact combat sports and some team sports. You can find more information in the guidance for safe provision of grassroots sport, or from the relevant sport’s national governing body.

  • Children can take part in indoor childcare and supervised activities, including sport and physical activity (such as community sport clubs), with any number of participants.

  • Informal or self-organised sport can only take place within the rules on social contact - in groups of up to 6 people, or a group of 2 households/bubbles.

  • When not taking part in organised sport, people using sport facilities must adhere to the rules on social contact. In indoor areas, people can gather in groups of up to 6 people, or 2 households/bubbles. In outdoor areas, people can meet in groups of up to 30.

  • Spectators are permitted to attend sporting events, but capacity limits apply. Spectators must adhere to legal gathering limits (groups of up to 6 people or 2 households/bubbles) and you should ensure that spectator areas allow for social distancing to be maintained. You can find more information in the section on spectators.

  • Different rules apply to how some groups can use your facility.
    - Elite sport and professional dance: the legal gathering limits do not apply to elite athletes and professional dancers using sport facilities for training or competition. Elite sport events can continue to take place in sport facilities (without spectators), where permitted in line with the guidance on elite sport.
    - Sport for educational purposes: facilities can be used by schools and post-16 education and training providers (such as colleges and universities) for organised sport or individual fitness activities related to their curriculum. This could include running an indoor basketball session for a school group, or a sport science student training for their sport in a gym.

Understanding “organised sport”

Where the rules mention ‘organised’ sport, this means sport which is formally organised by a qualified instructor, club, national governing body, company or charity and follows sport-specific guidance (where applicable). If the sport is not organised by one of these groups (for example, some friends having a kickabout) or the sport’s NGB guidance is not being followed (for example, a football club ignoring the FA’s guidance), this is considered to be informal or self-organised sport.

Taking part in organised sport can mean that other restrictions such as legal gathering limits don’t apply during the activity. This is because the organising body has considered the risks and set out ways to mitigate them so people can participate safely. Informal or self-organised sport is not covered by any exemptions.

2.2 Changes to facilities and services

Measures to control the infection rate may restrict the facilities or services your venue can provide. If you deliver a mix of services, only those services that are permitted to be open should be available.​ This could mean, for example, that your venue can open, but some facilities within it must stay closed.

There are also restrictions on the type of physical activity people can do. You can find more information on these measures in the section on changes to operations, and the grassroots sport guidance for the public and sport providers.

Hospitality:

  • Hospitality venues such as restaurants, cafes and bars can open to the public for indoor and outdoor service (and can continue to offer takeaway food and drinks).
  • Tables should be limited to groups of up to 6 people or 2 households/bubbles indoors, and up to 30 people outdoors (unless an exemption applies). Tables must be arranged to allow social distancing (2m, or 1m+ with risk mitigation where 2m is not viable) to be maintained between groups of customers.
  • A business that sells alcohol for consumption on the premises must provide table service only. This means that all food and drink (whether or not alcoholic) must be ordered by, and served to, seated customers. The business must take all reasonable steps to ensure that customers remain seated while consuming food or drink on the premises.
  • A business that does not sell alcohol for consumption on the premises does not need to provide table service. However, it must take all reasonable steps to ensure that customers remain seated while consuming food or drink on the premises.
  • You can find more information in the guidance for restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway services.
  • If your facility is hosting meetings and events, catering can be provided. Different rules apply to different events, such as business meetings, conferences and private dining. You should check the guidance for visitor economy settings and ensure you adhere to the relevant measures for events in your facility.

Close contact services and personal care facilities:

  • Personal care facilities (such as hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons, spas and massage services and physiotherapy services) can open to the public.
  • Saunas and steam rooms can open to the public from 17 May. Restrictions apply to how these facilities can operate.
  • You can find more information in the guidance for close contact services (for personal care facilities), and in the section on managing sport facility amenities (for saunas and steam rooms).

Retail:

  • Shops and stores attached to your venue can open to the public.
  • You should check the guidance for retail shops, stores and branches, and ensure you adhere to any relevant measures.

Visitor attractions and recreational venues:

  • Indoor and outdoor visitor attractions and recreational venues can open both indoor and outdoor areas.
  • Many entertainment settings (including bowling alleys, and snooker and pool halls) can open to the public.
  • You can find more information in the guidance for heritage locations and visitor economy settings.

Events and meetings:

  • In-person meetings can take place when reasonably necessary. Business show-rounds, viewings and site visits can take place at sport venues.
  • Permitted venues (including conference centres and exhibition halls) may host business events such as conferences, trade shows, exhibitions, charity auctions, private dining events such as charity or gala dinners and awards ceremonies, and corporate hospitality. Events must adhere to legal requirements and other measures, including following COVID-secure guidance. Capacity restrictions apply to both indoor and outdoor events.
  • Indoor and outdoor events can take place, with COVID-secure measures and capacity limits in place. Events permitted in Step 3 (which include live performances) must adhere to legal requirements and other measures, including following COVID-secure guidance. Capacity restrictions apply to both indoor and outdoor events.
  • You can find more information in the guidance for visitor economy settings.

3. Managing visitors

In this section:

3.1 Working with the public

Clear communication to customers, visitors, guests and audiences is important, to ensure that they are aware of measures that apply in your facility (such as face covering requirements).

There have been changes to social distancing guidance, however, COVID-secure measures including social distancing guidance continue to apply in workplaces, in businesses and in venues open to the public. This is to protect your staff, customers and members of the public, by reducing the risk of spreading COVID-19.

You should continue to follow relevant measures on social distancing, such as calculating the number of people who can be safely accommodated in your facility with social distancing in place, and advising customers of any relevant social distancing measures in your facility, for example, through signage or floor markings.

Social contact rules and gathering limits

  • You should ensure your facility operates in line with the coronavirus restrictions and legal gathering limits.

  • People can meet others from different households outdoors, though gatherings of more than 30 people remain illegal (unless an exemption applies).

  • Indoors, unless an exemption applies, people can only meet in groups of up to 6 people, or as a group of 2 households. A group made up of 2 households can include more than 6 people, but only where all members of the group are from the same 2 households (each household can include an existing support bubble, if eligible).

You can find more information in the coronavirus restrictions guidance.

Businesses should not intentionally facilitate gatherings that breach legal gathering limits.

You must take all reasonable steps not to take bookings for a greater number of people than is permitted, or allow such groups to enter. You should also ensure that customers are aware of the rules on gathering limits and what this means in your facility.

You can find more information on enforcement and fines in the relevant coronavirus regulations.

3.2 Minimising transmission through contact

You should reduce the risk of transmission for your customers, guests, visitors or audience members, by minimising contact opportunities.

What you should do:

  • Check the rules on sport provision, to ensure that the sports and activities you usually offer can be provided, or if you need to adapt the way you deliver them. For example, only allowing adults to take part in group activities if they are part of the same household or support/childcare bubble. You can find more detail about sport provision in the following places:
    - Guidance on grassroots sport (for the public and sport providers)
    - Guidance on the safe provision of grassroots sport (including team sport, contact combat sport and organised sport events).

  • Suspend or modify activities that are not permitted or cannot be undertaken without contravening legal gathering limits. Particular consideration should be taken for indoor courts and sports halls. National governing bodies and organised sports providers have provided specific guidance for how their sport can take place (and any modifications needed) which organisers should adhere to. Sport and physical activity which takes place outside this guidance is subject to legal gathering limits. You can find more information in the section on changes to operations and the grassroots sport guidance for the public and sport providers.

  • Review your facility’s capacity and ventilation. You should take into account capacity limits and consider how to manage customers, for example, reducing group sizes and amending timetabling to avoid crowding between classes or people waiting in groups. The maximum occupancy of an indoor facility should be limited by providing a minimum of 100sqft per person. Encourage, where weather and space permits, use of outdoor spaces. Ensure there is adequate ventilation. You can find more information in the section on managing your facility.

  • Review your facility’s cleaning schedules and hygiene measures. This should include providing handwashing facilities and hand sanitiser, and encouraging staff and customers to wash their hands regularly. You should pay particular attention to high-traffic areas such as entrances, touchpoints such as door handles and handrails, and shared equipment such as machines and free weights. You can find more information in the section on managing your facility.

  • Minimise unnecessary contact, for example by using online booking and pre-payment and encouraging contactless payments wherever possible. Where possible, make equipment that is permitted for use readily accessible so that storage containers do not need to be touched. Avoid unnecessary contact with paperwork by enabling such processes as bookings and rosters through online channels. Avoid the use of shared objects (such as towels, robes, balls, weights, rackets, balls, scoring equipment and sportswear) unless they can be cleaned or sanitised between users.

  • Review higher-risk areas and activities and take steps to minimise risk. For example, you should put in place measures to minimise risk in changing rooms, such as increasing cleaning schedules and ensuring social distancing can be maintained. You can find more information in the section on managing your facility.

  • Avoid encouraging customers to raise their voices, which increases transmission risk. Where possible, do not play music or broadcasts, or lower the volume so that it does not make normal conversation difficult.

  • Consider customer behaviour and take steps to address any high-risk or unhygienic activity. For example, spitting could increase the risk of transmission, so you should ask customers not to spit when using pitches or other facilities.

  • Check whether face coverings are required in your facility, or in certain areas, and ensure this is communicated to staff, visitors and customers. You can find more information in the section on face coverings and PPE.

  • Check whether there are additional rules for specific areas in your facility (such as retail outlets, restaurants and bars) and ensure you follow the appropriate guidance. You can find more information in the section on changes to facilities and services.

  • If you are a coach, instructor or other professional working with more than one group or organisation, consider how you can minimise risk. For example, you could reduce the number of contacts you are exposed to (by reducing the number/size of groups or locations) or use testing as a supplementary measure. You should maintain strict social distancing and hygiene measures with each group, and minimise contact with participants (for example, avoid demonstrating partner exercises with a participant).

3.3 Providing and explaining relevant guidance

You should provide and explain any relevant guidance to make sure people understand how to use your facility safely.

You must take all reasonable steps to ensure that customers comply with the limits on gatherings. You should not take bookings for a greater number of people than is permitted, or allow such groups to enter. You should also ensure that customers are aware of the rules on gathering limits and what this means in your facility.

You also have a legal duty to remind people to wear face coverings, if this is required in your facility. See the section on face coverings and PPE for more information.

What you should do:

  1. Consider how you can inform visitors of any relevant guidance and changes to processes in advance of their visit, for example on your website, when booking by phone or email, and in your digital marketing.

  2. Ensure that visitors are aware of the rules on gathering limits, and how this affects your facility and the services you offer. For example, ensuring your website informs customers of any group limits before they book, and that they are made aware of any guidance on how to behave when they arrive.

  3. Provide clear guidance on social distancing and hygiene to visitors on arrival, for example through signs and visual aids at entrances. Make sure to consider the needs of people with protected characteristics, for example those who are hard of hearing or visually impaired.

  4. Consider other ways you can communicate relevant information to visitors throughout their visit, for example spoken communication from a greeter or reception staff, or designating staff to remind customers to follow relevant guidance.

  5. Inform visitors of the rules on face coverings and how this applies to your facility. See the section on face coverings and PPE for more information.

  6. Consider how you can ensure this information is communicated to all of your customers, for example those who do not speak English as a first language, and those with protected characteristics (e.g. people who are hard of hearing or visually impaired).

Additional considerations for sport facilities:

  • Ensure that staff and visitors are aware of the rules on sport and physical activity, including the number of people who can participate in different types of sport. For example, indoor team sports (when permitted) may have specific limits on the number of people who can take part. Staff and officials (such as referees and coaches) are exempt from the legal gathering limits as they apply to organised indoor sport, so they do not count towards group totals for activities such as indoor exercise classes, but consideration should be given to ways to limit exposure. You can find more information in the section on changes to operations, and the grassroots sport guidance for the public and sport providers.

  • Consider how best to manage the rules on sport and physical activity. This could include designating staff to supervise particular areas of the facility to ensure that the rules are followed.

  • Provide written or spoken communication of guidance for sporting activity that customers may not be aware of, particularly in free-weight areas and around stationary equipment.

  • Consider how best to inform customers of any relevant guidance or changes to operations. For example, emailing customers to update them on changes to timetables and class booking, or availability or closure of certain facilities.

3.4 Capacity, queuing and avoiding crowds

You should carefully manage the number of visitors in your facility, and their movements, to ensure that social distancing (2 metres distance, or at least 1m with additional control measures where 2m is not possible) can be maintained between guests, and avoid risk of crowding.

What you should do (when permitted to open):

  1. Manage the number of visitors to your facility to ensure that social distancing can be maintained. Some businesses and organisations also have specific capacity limits relevant to their sector.

  2. Enforce capacity limits by managing ticket sales and entry, for example, by implementing timed ticketing or asking customers to book ahead where possible. You must take all reasonable steps to adhere to social contact restrictions when taking a booking and managing entry (and advising groups not to break the rules when on the premises) or you will be breaking the law.

  3. If your facility organises events or activities where large numbers of people attend at the same time, put in place measures to ensure that social distancing can be maintained in queues and within the premises.

  4. Consider the cumulative impact of many venues reopening in the local area. You should think about how to collaborate with local authorities, neighbouring businesses, travel operators and local transport authorities to assess this risk and apply any additional mitigations required.

Mitigations could include:

  • further lowering capacity (even if it is possible to safely seat a number of people inside a venue, it may not be safe for them all to travel or enter that venue)
  • staggering entry times with other venues and taking steps to avoid queues building up in surrounding areas
  • arranging one-way travel routes between transport hubs and venues
  • advising patrons to avoid particular forms of transport or routes and to avoid crowded areas when in transit to the venue

Additional considerations for sport facilities:

  • Manage customers within your facility’s capacity limit. The maximum occupancy of an indoor facility (when permitted) should be limited by providing a minimum of 100sqft per person. For this figure, the area is the net usable indoor facility space available to members to use, including changing rooms, (when permitted) toilet and wash facilities. You can find more information in the section on ventilation.

  • Consider implementing capacity limits for certain areas. Within the maximum capacity for your venue (see above), you should consider whether some areas of your facility should have their own limits. For example, a studio or weights room within a gym is likely to need a capacity limit to ensure that social distancing can be maintained. You should also consider how best to manage higher-risk areas like changing rooms, whether through capacity limits or strict social distancing. You can find more information in the section on ventilation.

  • Review activities such as group bookings and classes (where they are permitted) to ensure they are managed safely. Consider reducing class sizes and amending timetabling to minimise contacts and prevent groups waiting in confined spaces, and to allow sufficient breaks for cleaning the studio and equipment.

  • Ensure that you take into account the needs of users with disabilities. For example, do not close dedicated changing spaces. If you do not have dedicated changing areas for people with disabilities, ensure that any measures allow for the needs of users with disabilities (for example, allowing additional space or access for carers).

  • Consider designating staff to supervise particular areas of the facility to ensure they don’t get overcrowded and social distancing measures are followed.

3.5 Spectators

Spectators are permitted at grassroots sport events, but capacity limits apply. Spectators should be carefully managed to avoid unnecessary transmission risk.

Different rules apply to elite sport events, which are set out in the elite sport guidance.

What you should do:

  • If your facility is running an event or an activity that may attract spectators, you should designate a staff member to manage this and ensure you put in place the appropriate safety measures. This should include:
    - A risk assessment for the activity, or including regular events in your existing risk assessment (see the section on Covid-19 risk assessments for more information).
    - Limiting the number of spectators to a safe level, in line with venue capacity limits and gathering limits (see the section on capacity, queueing and avoiding crowds for more information).
    - Ensuring social distancing can be managed at all times, including on arrival, during the event, and on departure.
    - Collecting information from spectators for NHS Test and Trace. This will not apply to all facilities (for example, outdoor sport facilities in public places where it is not possible or practical to collect information from all spectators), so you should check the section on NHS Test and Trace, and the NHS Test and Trace guidance for further information.

  • Ensure that your event complies with relevant restrictions, such as capacity limits.
    - Attendance at events will be restricted to 1,000 people or 50% of capacity (whichever is lower) for indoor events, and 50% of capacity up to 4,000 people for outdoor events.
    - These capacity limits apply to participants in the event (and relevant coaches and officials) as well as spectators. They do not apply to staff working or volunteering at the venue.
    - This applies to all types of events except organised sports participation events, where the capacity limit applies to spectators only (i.e. participants and officials are not counted towards the total).

  • Spectators must adhere to legal gathering limits. In addition to being legal requirements punishable by fines, those violating the measures are endangering public safety and undermining the case for safe sport to be allowed to take place.
    - Outdoors, spectators can gather in groups of up to 30. Gatherings of more than 30 people remain illegal (unless an exemption applies).
    - Indoors, unless an exemption applies, spectators can only gather in groups of up to 6 people, or as a group of two households. A group made up of 2 households can include more than 6 people, but only where all members of the group are from the same 2 households (and each household can include an existing support bubble, if eligible).

  • If spectators do not follow these legal requirements, you (or the sport provider) can ask them to leave or not to attend again. Where there are serious or consistent issues with spectators, the sport’s national governing body may consider sanctions including suspending the relevant sport provider from running any leagues, matches, training sessions or other events or activities until this has been addressed.

  • There have been changes to social distancing guidance, however, COVID-secure measures including social distancing guidance continue to apply in venues open to the public, such as sport facilities. You should advise spectators of any relevant social distancing measures in your facility, for example, through signage or floor markings, and ensure that spectator areas allow for social distancing to be maintained.

  • Spectators should minimise shouting or raising their voices. There is an additional risk of infection where people are shouting or singing in close proximity to others (particularly indoors and when face-to face).

4. Managing your workforce

In this section:

4.1 Social distancing for staff

You should follow social distancing guidance in the workplace wherever possible. This means ensuring that all staff adhere to social distancing guidance by maintaining 2 metres distance from others (or where 2m is not possible, at least 1m with additional control measures, such as wearing face coverings).

What you should do:

  1. Ensure that all staff are aware of social distancing guidance which still applies in the workplace.

  2. Consider the needs of staff with protected characteristics, as social distancing may not be possible or will be more challenging for workers with certain disabilities (such as individuals in wheelchairs or with vision impairments). You should discuss with disabled employees what reasonable adjustments can be made to the workplace so they can work safely.

  3. Consider all areas of your facility. Social distancing applies to all parts of a premises where business is conducted, not just areas open to the public. This includes work areas where people spend most of their time, but also entrances and exits, break rooms, canteens and other settings. These are often the most challenging areas to maintain social distancing, so you should consider the most appropriate measures for your facility. You can find advice on measures which may be appropriate in different settings in the Health and Safety Executive’s guidance on social distancing to make your workplace COVID-secure.

  4. Where the social distancing guidelines cannot be followed in full in relation to a particular activity, you should consider whether that activity needs to continue for your business to operate, and, if so, take all the mitigating actions possible to reduce the risk of transmission for your staff.

You should also consider other control measures to minimise risk. These could include:

  • Minimising the number of staff on-site, or reducing the number of people in close proximity in the work area.

  • Reducing the number of people each individual has contact with, for example by using fixed teams or partnering so that each person works with only a few others. You can find more information in the section on shift patterns and working groups.

  • Limiting the movement of staff around the site. You can find more information in the section on moving around buildings.

  • Increasing the frequency of cleaning, including disinfecting of heavy footfall and frequent touch points such as surfaces and door handles, with particular attention to shared showers, changing rooms, and toilets/restrooms. You can find more information in the section on keeping the site clean.
  • Encouraging staff to wash hands frequently, and providing hand sanitiser in areas with poor access to hand washing. You can find more information in the section on hygiene.
  • Ensuring higher-risk activities (involving close contact) are as brief as possible.
  • Using screens or barriers to create a physical barrier between individuals or workspaces (particularly where an individual is in contact with a high volume of people, such as reception or ticket office staff). You can find more information in the section on workplaces and workstations.
  • Avoiding face-to-face working wherever possible, for example by arranging desks/workspaces so that staff are back-to-back or side-to-side. You can find more information in the section on workplaces and workstations.

  • Maintaining good ventilation by opening doors, windows and vents, where possible. You can find more information in the section on ventilation (link) and guidance from the Health and Safety Executive on ventilation and air conditioning.

You can find further advice in the Health and Safety Executive’s guidance on social distancing to make your workplace COVID-secure.

Additional considerations for sport facilities:

  • Consider using clearly designated supervising positions, from which staff leading activity (or instructors and coaches) can provide advice or assistance to customers while maintaining appropriate social distancing.

  • Minimise contact in transactions, for example using online booking for classes and contactless payments for access to lockers.

  • Ensure that demonstrations or other promotional activities are designed to minimise direct contact and and allow people to maintain social distancing.

  • Ensure that staff who work with multiple groups or teach multiple classes can do so safely. They should maintain strict social distancing and hygiene measures with each group, and minimise contact with participants (for example avoiding demonstrating exercises on/with participants).

  • Consider how to manage risk for visiting instructors who work across multiple locations. Work with instructors to understand the number of facilities they visit and consider whether you should take any steps to manage this risk. For example, reducing the number of contacts they are exposed to (by reducing the number/size of groups or locations) or using testing as a supplementary measure. Ensure they are aware of the rules on sport and physical activity, and any specific safety measures you have put in place in your facility.

4.2 Communications and training

You should ensure that workers are informed of relevant safety measures implemented or updated.

What you should do:

  1. Engage with workers and worker representatives through existing communication routes to explain and agree any changes in working arrangements.

  2. Ensure staff returning to the workplace are given any relevant training or updated guidance in advance, particularly where it relates to new procedures for arrival at work. Use remote or visual communication to explain changes where possible, to reduce the need for face-to-face communications.

  3. Provide clear, consistent and regular communication of any relevant safety measures or changes to policy/procedure. Use simple messaging to explain guidelines using images and clear language, with consideration of those for whom English is not their first language.

  4. Ongoing engagement with workers (including through trades unions or employee representation groups) to monitor implementation of changes to working environments, and understand any unforeseen impacts.

  5. Communicate approaches and operational procedures to suppliers, customers or trade bodies to help their adoption and to share experience.

  6. Increase awareness and focus on the importance of mental health at times of uncertainty. This may include sharing guidance on the mental health and wellbeing aspects of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Additional considerations for sport facilities:

  • Ensure that staff and visitors are aware of the rules on sport and physical activity, including the number of people who can participate in different types of sport. Staff and officials (such as referees and coaches) are exempt from the legal gathering limits as they apply to organised indoor sport, so they do not count towards group totals for activities such as indoor exercise classes, but consideration should be given to ways to limit exposure. You can find more information in the grassroots sport guidance for the public and sport providers.

  • Review any relevant guidance for your facility. Many national governing bodies have produced sport-specific guidance that will explain any game modifications or help you plan safe delivery of the sport.

  • Consider whether you have enough appropriately trained staff to implement safety measures. For example, having dedicated staff to encourage social distancing or to manage security.

  • Use visual communications (for example, whiteboards or signage) to explain changes to timetables, facility availability or staffing, to reduce the need for face-to-face communications.

  • Ensure that visiting instructors who work across multiple locations are familiar with the rules on sport and physical activity and any specific safety measures you have put in place in your facility.

  • Consider how to engage and support volunteers. Assess whether it is safe for people to volunteer, and consider that they may have additional personal responsibilities which affect their availability. Communicating directly and sensitively can help you to understand how they are able to volunteer, and the support you can give them. Think about appropriate roles and tasks, and how these may need to be adapted to support any new safety measures.

You can find more information in the National Council for Volunteering Organisations’ guidance on safe volunteering, and training for volunteers is available through CIMSPA.

4.3 Workplaces and workstations

Workstations should be assigned to an individual wherever possible. If they need to be shared, they should be shared by the smallest number of people possible and cleaned frequently.

For people who work in one fixed place, workstations should allow them to maintain social distancing wherever possible. If it is not possible for workstations to be sufficiently far apart, businesses should consider whether that activity needs to continue for the business to operate, and if so take all mitigating actions possible to reduce the risk of transmission.

What you should do:

  1. Review layouts to ensure workspaces are spaced to allow for social distancing. If fixed workspaces cannot be moved, consider leaving empty desks or workspaces between individuals.

  2. Avoid face-to-face working wherever possible, for example by arranging desks/workspaces so that staff are back-to-back or side-to-side.

  3. Use screens or barriers to create a physical barrier between individuals or workspaces where possible (particularly where an individual is in contact with a high volume of people, such as reception or ticket office staff).

  4. Reduce the number of people each individual has contact with by using fixed teams or a consistent pairing system, particularly if people have to work in close proximity (such as maintenance activities that cannot be redesigned).

  5. Consider using floor tape or paint to mark areas to help people socially distance.

  6. Minimise contacts around transactions, for example by using contactless payments wherever possible.

  7. Ensure that demonstrations or other promotional activities are designed to minimise direct contact and to maintain social distancing.

4.4 Shift patterns and working groups

You should review working patterns to minimise risk to staff by reducing the number of contacts each worker has.

What you should do:

  1. Consider ways to minimise staff contacts and exposure, for example through staggered shifts and assigned staff mealtimes. You should take into account the particular circumstances of those with protected characteristics, including disability, maternity and religion, and how they may be impacted by changes to shift patterns.

  2. Consider revising schedules for planned work and essential services to minimise contact with other staff and customers, for example by carrying out services at night or less busy times of the day.

  3. Where workers are split into teams or shift groups, consider fixing these teams or shift groups so that any unavoidable contact is between the same people.
    How to use fixed teams/groups:
    — Group individuals into fixed teams that work together throughout a production or project, or for specific periods, to minimise the risk of transmission beyond these fixed teams.
    — Keep fixed teams in separate areas or schedule breaks at different times, to minimise risk during breaks or when moving around a venue.
    — Ensure that there is no swapping between designated fixed teams. This is to reduce the risk of whole-team impact in the event of one member of a team contracting COVID-19.
    — Ensure that support workers for disabled workers or performers are included as a member of the fixed team.

  4. Identify areas where people have to directly pass things to each other (such as equipment and supplies) and finding ways to remove direct contact, for example by using drop-off points or transfer zones.

  5. Assist NHS Test and Trace by keeping a record of staff shift patterns for 21 days and providing the data if needed. This could help contain clusters or outbreaks (see the section on NHS Test and Trace for more information, or read the guidance on NHS Test and Trace).

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5. Managing your facility

In this section:

5.1 Reopening after a period of closure

If your site or location has been closed or partially operated during a period of restrictions, you should make sure it is clean and safe before you reopen.

What you should do:

  1. Check whether you need to service or adjust ventilation systems so that they do not automatically reduce ventilation levels due to lower than normal occupancy levels or poor maintenance.

    Most air conditioning systems do not need adjustment if they draw in a supply of fresh air, however where systems serve multiple buildings, or you are unsure, advice should be sought from your heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) engineers or advisers.

  2. Open doors, windows and vents to improve natural ventilation. You can find more information in the section on ventilation and Health and Safety Executive guidance on ventilation and air conditioning.

  3. Consider the risks arising from periods of closure. If your building is unoccupied or has reduced occupancy during a period of restrictions, you should review HSE’s guidance on the risk of legionella.

Additional considerations for sport facilities:

  • Ensure you follow the appropriate steps to reopen swimming pools safely. Before re-commissioning a swimming pool, review the Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group’s guidance on reopening a pool after COVID-19 shutdown, and ensure you follow the appropriate measures.

  • Ensure you include all relevant areas in your safety checks, including changing rooms and showers. You should ensure that all water systems, including showers and sinks, are safe to use after a prolonged facility shutdown to minimise the risk of legionella and other diseases associated with water. You can find more information in HSE’s guidance on the risk of legionella.

5.2 Keeping the site clean

You should ensure that you keep the workplace clean and safe. This includes minimising potential transmission routes by cleaning surfaces and touchpoints, and minimising use of shared objects.

What you should do:

  1. Frequently clean of work areas, equipment, bathrooms and other high-traffic areas, using your usual cleaning products.

  2. Frequently clean objects and surfaces that are touched regularly, including door handles, lift buttons and handrails, and making sure there are adequate disposal arrangements for cleaning products.

  3. Clear workspaces and remove waste and belongings from the work area at the end of a shift.

  4. If you are cleaning after a known or suspected case of COVID-19, you should follow the measures set out in the guidance for cleaning in non-healthcare settings.

  5. Provide extra waste facilities for staff and visitors to dispose of single-use face coverings and PPE. You should refer to the guidance on disposing of personal or business waste during the coronavirus pandemic for more information.

  6. Maintain good ventilation by opening doors, windows and vents, where possible. You can find more information in the section on ventilation and Health and Safety Executive guidance on ventilation and air conditioning.

  7. Consider wedging doors open to reduce touchpoints where appropriate. This does not apply to fire doors, which should be kept closed.

Additional considerations for sport facilities:

  • Review routes and schedules for facilities and equipment located in different areas (such as pools, golf courses and ranges, practice nets and climbing walls) to ensure social distancing can be maintained. This may involve putting in place one-way systems or limiting access at specific times to avoid crowding.

5.3 Hygiene: washing hands, sanitation and toilet facilities

You should take steps to ensure that good levels of hygiene are maintained throughout the facility.

What you should do:

  1. Use signs and posters to build awareness of good hand-washing technique, the need to increase hand-washing frequency, and good hygiene practices like avoiding touching your face and coughing or sneezing into your arm. Considering how to ensure safety messages reach those with hearing or vision impairments.

  2. Frequently clean toilet facilities. Set clear use and cleaning guidance for toilets to ensure they are kept clean and social distancing can be maintained, including putting up a visible and up-to-date cleaning schedule. Special care should be taken for cleaning of portable toilets and larger toilet blocks.

  3. Provide hand sanitiser in toilet facilities as well as areas where there may be a higher risk of transmission (such as reception and entrance foyers, doorways and lifts). You should check frequently to ensure you maintain adequate supplies at all times, and ensure that any equipment placed is accessible to, and does not impede, wheelchair users.

  4. Keep the facilities well-ventilated, for example by opening doors, windows and vents where possible, and ensuring extractor fans work effectively.

  5. Increase the number of waste facilities and frequency of rubbish collection.

  6. Ensure suitable options for drying are available (either paper towels or hand dryers). Consider the needs of people with disabilities.

  7. Minimise the use of portable toilets. Special care should be taken for cleaning of portable toilets and larger toilet blocks.

5.4 Moving around buildings

You should ensure that social distancing can be maintained wherever possible while people travel to, through, and from the workplace.

Arriving and leaving:

  1. Ensure you and your staff are familiar with the Department for Transport’s guidance on safer travel. Consider ways to help people walk or cycle to work if they can, such as installing bike racks.

  2. Consider staggering arrival and departure times, where appropriate, to reduce crowding into and out of the workplace (making sure to consider the impact on those with protected characteristics).

  3. Take steps to minimise transmission risk when using corporate vehicles such as work minibuses. This could include lowering the number of passengers in the vehicle at one time, and leaving empty seats between passengers.

  4. Reduce congestion around entry and exit points, for example by having more entry points to the workplace if possible, and introducing one-way flow with markings and signage.

  5. Provide hand washing facilities or hand sanitiser at entry and exit points and ensure it is accessible.

  6. Consider alternatives to touch-based security devices (such as keypads), for example so that staff can show a pass to security personnel from a distance. If touch-based security devices are necessary, adjust processes to reduce the risk of transmission (for example by cleaning pass readers regularly, and asking staff to hold their passes near readers rather than touching them).

    Within the facility:

  7. Reduce movement by discouraging non-essential trips within buildings and sites, for example by restricting access to some areas, or encouraging use of radios or telephones (note that items shared by staff members will require cleaning between users).

  8. Introduce one-way flow through buildings. Provide floor markings and signage to remind both workers and customers to follow social distancing guidance wherever possible.

  9. Regulate use of high-traffic areas, including corridors, lifts, turnstiles and walkways, so that people can maintain social distancing.

  10. Provide accessible hand sanitiser for the operation of lifts, and reduce maximum occupancy to ensure that social distancing can be maintained. Encourage the use of stairs instead of lifts wherever possible, but ensure that people with disabilities are able to access lifts.

  11. Consider the needs of those with protected characteristics, such as those who are hearing or visually impaired.

Additional considerations for sport facilities:

  • Review routes and schedules for facilities and equipment located in different areas (such as pools, golf courses and ranges, practice nets and climbing walls) to ensure social distancing can be maintained. This may involve putting in place one-way systems or limiting access at specific times to avoid crowding.

5.5 Ventilation

Ventilation can be used as a control measure to reduce the risk of transmission of COVD-19. Tiny airborne particles can travel further than droplets, and in poorly ventilated spaces this can lead to viral particles spreading between people. Good ventilation can reduce this risk.

Ventilation into any building should be optimised to ensure a fresh air supply is provided to all areas of the facility and increased wherever possible.

What you should do:

  1. Consider how best to maximise ventilation in your facility. There are different ways of providing ventilation, including mechanical ventilation using fans and ducts, natural ventilation which relies on passive flow through openings (doors, windows, vents) or a combination of the two. Open doors, windows and air vents where possible, to improve natural ventilation.

  2. Keep toilet, shower and changing facilities well-ventilated, for example by opening doors, windows and air vents where possible and ensuring extractor fans work effectively. The risk of transmission is greater in spaces that are poorly ventilated.

  3. Consider if you should take further steps to increase ventilation, particularly in areas which have limited air output or where higher-risk activity (such as exercise or people singing or raising their voices) takes place. For example, by opening doors, windows and air vents.

  4. Take additional steps to minimise risk. Ventilation will not reduce the risk of droplet or surface transmission, so other control measures such as cleaning and social distancing are also required.

You can find more detailed advice on identifying poorly ventilated spaces, and further steps you can take to improve ventilation, in the Health and Safety Executive’s guidance on ventilation and air conditioning.

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Additional considerations for sport facilities:

  • Limit the number of people in the facility. The maximum occupancy of each indoor facility should be limited by providing a minimum of 100sqft per person. This includes the net usable indoor facility space available to members to use, including changing rooms (when in use), toilet and washing facilities.v

    Reducing capacity in this way (whilst sustaining ventilation flows) will increase the typical current 10l/s/p flow rate of ventilation to at least 20l/s/p, as fewer people are being served by the ventilation system.

  • Ensure that your ventilation system provides 100% fresh air and does not recirculate air from one space to another. If you are not sure of the ventilation rates, you can use a carbon dioxide sensor to indicate when you should switch on additional mechanical ventilation or open windows.

  • Review the ventilation rates and see if you need to increase them, for example by fully opening the dampers and running fans on full speed, increasing the frequency of filter changes or operating the ventilation system 24 hours a day.

  • Consider if you should take further steps to increase ventilation, particularly in areas which have limited air output or where high-intensity exercise takes place. For example, by opening doors, windows and vents.

You can find more information on ventilation and air conditioning in guidance from the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers and the Health and Safety Executive.

5.6 Changing rooms and showers

Changing rooms are an area of increased transmission risk, so you should take steps to ensure they can be used safely. Inform customers that these are areas of increased risk, that they should shower and change at home where possible, and, if they do need to use changing rooms, they should minimise time spent inside.

When changing rooms and showers can be used, you should take all necessary precautions to ensure appropriate social distancing can be maintained. This includes assessing the maximum number of people that can be permitted, making any necessary operational changes (see below for steps you can take), and communicating this clearly to customers.

Changing rooms and shower facilities should not be closed unnecessarily, but you should encourage participants to avoid or minimise use where possible (for example, by arriving in kit and showering at home) and to minimise the time they spend in the changing area.

If you are considering closing changing rooms or shower facilities where they are not necessary, remember that access must be maintained for some safety and safeguarding reasons (for example, supporting customers with disabilities or allowing children to change clothes).

What you should do:

  • If you are reopening after a facility shutdown, check changing rooms and showers are safe to use. You should ensure that all water systems, including showers and sinks, are safe after a prolonged facility shutdown to minimise the risk of legionella and other diseases associated with water. You can find more information in HSE’s guidance on the risk of legionella.

  • Review cleaning schedules and ensure changing rooms and showers are cleaned frequently, throughout during the day and at the end of the day.

  • Encourage people to avoid or minimise time spent in changing facilities, for example by asking customers and staff to change and shower at home rather than in changing rooms where possible. However, changing rooms should not be closed unnecessarily as access will be needed, particularly after swimming or outdoor sport in wet weather.

  • Communicate clearly to customers how they can use the facilities safely. Inform customers that these are areas of increased risk of transmission, that they should shower and change at home where possible and, if they do need to use changing rooms, they should minimise time spent inside. Customers using changing rooms must adhere to gathering limits and should be able to maintain social distancing while using the facilities.

  • Take particular care to clean water fountains, and ensure they are only used to refill personal bottles or containers. Face-to-tap drinking should be prohibited.

  • Consider any additional steps you can take to minimise risk. For example, adjust class timetabling to minimise crowding from groups using facilities at the same time. You could also consider making additional spaces available for changing where needed, to minimise the number of people sharing small indoor spaces.

5.7 Managing sport facility amenities

You should ensure that all areas of sport facilities operate safely. If your venue contains a mix of amenities, only those amenities which are permitted to be open should be available.

Fitness spaces (when permitted to open):

  • Consider implementing additional capacity limits for smaller enclosed spaces. Within the maximum capacity for your venue (see the section on ventilation for more information), some areas such as studios and weights rooms may need additional limits to ensure that there is adequate ventilation and space for social distancing.

  • Gym equipment and machinery should be appropriately spaced so that people can comply with social distancing guidelines, and with a suitable margin for adequate circulation or one-way routes.

  • Consider moving equipment, using screens to separate equipment, or taking equipment out of use if it cannot be used safely. It may be helpful to use tape around pieces of gym equipment to demonstrate appropriate social distance.

  • In exercise studios, temporary floor marking should be used to define required spacing per individual.

Pools (when permitted to open):

  • Capacity of swimming pools should be limited. You should calculate your pool’s capacity limit to allow 3 square metres per bather, and manage customer entry within this limit.

  • Flumes should be closed until step 3 of the roadmap. When flumes are available, you must put in place controls ensure they can be used safely, including allowing for social distancing and queue management.

  • Hydrotherapy pools should manage capacity to take account of any additional needs clients may have, such as mobility issues. If social distancing cannot be maintained due to immediate safety concerns, close proximity contact should be kept to a minimum by those not part of the same household or social support bubble.

  • If you are reopening a swimming pool after a period of closure, ensure you follow the appropriate steps to do this safely. Before re-commissioning a swimming pool, review the Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group’s guidance on reopening a pool after COVID-19 shutdown, and ensure you follow the appropriate measures.

Saunas and steam rooms:

  • Saunas and steam rooms can open to the public.

  • Maximum capacity should be restricted to 50%. For example, a sauna designed for 4 people should only be used by 2 people at the same time. The sauna should display signage clearly indicating the new maximum capacity.

  • Facilities should operate with 2m social distancing in place, including marked seating points in each room.

  • Where possible, guests should be given fixed times and staggered slots to enter the sauna or steam room. For example, if a sauna with a normal capacity for 4 individuals offers an appointment time of 12.00 - 12.15:
    - up to 2 individuals may book this slot
    - they must arrive/enter at 12.00
    - they can leave and re-enter at any time but must leave at 12.15.

  • Increase air flow and air changes to the maximum safe level.

  • Ensure that saunas, steam rooms and any equipment are cleaned regularly. This should include the beginning and end of the day and at regular intervals in-between, and where possible between users. You should consider how to manage this in your risk assessment. You can find more information in the sections on keeping the site clean and COVID-19 risk assessments.

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6. Face coverings and PPE

In this section:

6.1 Face coverings

Face coverings are required in many public indoor places, as well as settings like public transport. This can apply to both staff and visitors, unless they have a valid reason for not wearing one (such as a medical exemption or other permitted reason). If this applies to your business, you have a legal duty to remind your customers to wear face coverings where it is mandated. You should ensure you are aware of the rules on face coverings and how this applies to your facility.

If face coverings are not required in your facility, you should consider asking or encouraging your customers and visitors to wear them. It is strongly encouraged that everyone wears face coverings in enclosed public spaces (even where it is not legally required), particularly where social distancing may be difficult or where people may come into contact with others they do not live with or share a bubble with.

If staff are not legally required to wear face coverings, you should review the risks in your workplace, and assess the need for face coverings on a case-by-case basis. You should support your workers if they choose to wear face coverings.

However you should remember that face coverings are not a replacement for the other ways of managing risk, including minimising time spent in contact, using fixed teams and partnering for close-up work, and increasing hand and surface washing. These measures remain the best ways of managing risk in the workplace and you should not rely on face coverings as a sole form of risk management.

Face coverings for sport facilities

  • People are not required to wear face coverings while taking part in sport and physical activity. All forms of face coverings may restrict breathing efficiency and should not be used during exercise except on specific advice from a physician.

  • Visitors are not required to wear face coverings in sport facilities, however they should be encouraged to wear face coverings in enclosed public areas when not engaging in sport or physical activity.

  • Staff are not required to wear face coverings in sport facilities, however you should encourage them to be worn to protect staff and customers. You should support your workers if they choose to wear face coverings.

  • However, face coverings may be required in specific areas. If your facility contains retail or hospitality areas (such as a shop, cafe or bar), face coverings must be worn by staff and visitors in public-facing roles. If this applies to your facility, you are required to remind customers to wear face coverings where they are required (for example, displaying notices outside and inside a cafe area).

  • Staff in close-contact services are required to wear a face covering and a visor when open. People providing close contact services within your facility (such as massage therapists and beauty treatments) must wear a face covering, and should follow the guidance on close contact services on any additional PPE they should wear (such as visors and specific types of face masks).

What you should do:

  1. Ensure you and your staff are familiar with the rules on face coverings and how this applies to your facility. Consider whether you should encourage staff or visitors to wear face coverings in areas where it is not legally mandated.

  2. Ensure that face coverings are worn by staff where required. It is against the law to prevent your staff from wearing a face covering where they are required to do so.

  3. Provide face coverings to staff, if they are required. Where staff need to wear face coverings for their work, you should provide these (as it is a health and safety requirement), but allow staff to use their own face coverings if they choose to.

  4. Take reasonable steps to ensure that visitors are informed of the rules on face coverings, for example through notices at the entrance and in-store communications. You may also want to inform visitors that they should be prepared to remove face coverings if asked to do so by police officers and staff for the purposes of identification (for example, if your business sells age-restricted products).

  5. Consider the impact on people who rely on lip reading, facial expressions and clear sound, and ways to mitigate this (such as giving staff training on safe or alternative means of communication).

You can find further detail on when and where to wear face coverings (as well as the enforcement measures which can be taken if you do not comply with the law) in the guidance on face coverings.

6.2 Personal protective equipment (PPE)

PPE protects the user against health or safety risks at work. It can include items such as safety helmets, gloves, eye protection, high-visibility clothing, safety footwear and safety harnesses. This does not include face coverings, which are covered in the section on face coverings.

Where you are already using PPE in your work activity to protect against non-COVID-19 risks, you should continue to do so.

Where you do not use PPE in your usual work activity, you should not encourage the precautionary use of extra PPE to protect against COVID-19. PPE is only recommended in certain scenarios such as clinical settings, or for people responding to a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19.

COVID-19 is a different type of risk to the risks you normally face in a workplace, and needs to be managed through social distancing, hygiene and fixed teams or partnering, not through the use of PPE.

What you should do:

  1. Review the need for PPE in your risk assessment. Unless you are in a situation where the risk of COVID-19 transmission is very high, your risk assessment should reflect the fact that the role of PPE in providing additional protection is extremely limited.

  2. If your risk assessment does show that PPE is required, you must provide this PPE free of charge to workers who need it. Any PPE provided must fit properly.

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Additional considerations for sport facilities:

  • Check the guidance for specific professions or settings, and ensure PPE is worn where required. For example, those who work in close contact services (such as sport massage therapists and physiotherapists) must wear a face covering, and should follow the guidance for close contact services on any additional PPE they should wear (such as visors and specific types of face masks).

7. Travel and transport

In this section:

7.1 Work-related travel

You should avoid unnecessary work travel and keep people safe when they do need to travel between locations.

What you should do:

  1. Minimise non-essential travel – consider remote options first.

  2. Ensure you and your staff are familiar with the Department for Transport’s guidance on safer travel.

  3. Minimise the use of shared vehicles for people from different households or bubbles by using fixed travel partners, increasing ventilation by opening windows, and avoiding sitting face-to-face.

  4. Minimise transmission risk when using corporate vehicles such as work minibuses. This could include lowering the number of passengers in the vehicle at one time, and leaving empty seats between passengers.

  5. Ensure shared vehicles are cleaned between shifts or on handover.

  6. Where workers are required to stay away from their home, centrally log the stay and make sure any overnight accommodation meets social distancing guidelines.

For more information about work-related travel to make deliveries to other sites, see the section on deliveries and handling goods.

7.2 Deliveries to other sites

You should ensure that workers delivering to other sites (such as factories, logistics sites or customers’ premises) can maintain social distancing and hygiene practices.

What you should do:

  1. Ensure you and your staff are familiar with the Department for Transport’s guidance on safer travel.

  2. Minimise the use of shared vehicles by using fixed travel partners, increasing ventilation by opening windows, and avoiding sitting face-to-face.

  3. Ensure shared vehicles are cleaned between shifts or on handover.

  4. Put in place procedures to minimise person-to-person contact during deliveries to other sites.

  5. Use solo workers to make deliveries and load or unload vehicles, where it is possible and safe. Where two-person deliveries are required, maintain consistent pairing where possible to minimise transmission risk.

  6. Minimise contact during payments and exchange of documentation, for example by using electronic payment methods and electronically signed and exchanged documents.

  7. Where workers are required to stay away from their home, centrally logging the stay and making sure any overnight accommodation meets social distancing guidelines.

7.3 Inbound and outbound goods

You should ensure that on-site and visiting workers maintain social distancing and avoid surface transmission when goods enter and leave the site.

What you should do:

  1. Ensure you and your staff are familiar with the Department for Transport’s guidance on safer travel.

  2. Review pick-up and drop-off collection points, procedures, signage and markings, and consider ways to minimise transmission risk.

  3. Minimise unnecessary contact at delivery points such as security checkpoints, delivery yards and warehouses. For example, consider implementing non-contact deliveries where the nature of the product allows for use of electronic pre-booking.

  4. Consider methods to reduce the frequency of deliveries, for example by ordering larger quantities less often.

  5. Use solo workers to make deliveries and load or unload vehicles, where it is possible and safe. Where two-person deliveries are required, maintain consistent pairing where possible to minimise transmission risk.

  6. Encourage drivers to stay in their vehicleswhere this does not compromise their safety and existing safe working practice, such as preventing drive-aways. However you should ensure drivers have to access welfare facilities when required.

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Where to find more information

In this section:

Guidance for your sector

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Guidance on grassroots sport for the public and sport providers Guidance on the safe provision of grassroots sport ukactive guidance, toolkits and resources for sport facilities Chartered Institute of Management in Sport & Physical Activity (CIMSPA) guidance, toolkits and resources for supporting the workforce, including free online certified training Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group’s guidance on reopening a pool after COVID-19 shutdown Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers guidance on ventilation and air condition National Council for Volunteering Organisations’ guidance on safe volunteering

For sport-specific guidance, contact the relevant sport’s national governing body.

Resources

How to find your local PHE health protection team

The COVID-secure notice you can display in your workplace if you follow this guidance

Health and Safety Executive guidance on COVID-19 risk assessments, social distancing to make your workplace COVID-secure, ventilation and air conditioning and general advice on managing risk

Register and order COVID-19 tests for your employees

Support for businesses and employers during coronavirus (COVID-19)

General guidance for employees during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Guidance for employers and employees on statutory sick pay due to coronavirus.

Guidance on maintaining records of staff, customers and visitors to support NHS Test and Trace

Coronavirus guidance and support

COVID-19: What you need to do

Guidance on the current restrictions and what you can and cannot do

Guidance on education, universities and childcare, and advice for schools and out-of-school settings

Guidance on accessing green spaces

Guidance on face coverings

Guidance on NHS Test and Trace and self-isolation

Guidance on NHS COVID-19 testing Guidance on organised events for local authorities

Guidance on safer travel

Guidance on social distancing

Guidance on the mental health and wellbeing aspects of coronavirus (COVID-19)

Guidance for wedding and civil partnerships receptions and celebrations and funerals

Guidance on who is at higher risk from coronavirus, and for people who are clinically extremely vulnerable.

What to do if you or someone in your household has symptoms or tests positive.

What to do if you have close contact with someone outside your household who has symptoms or tests positive

Guidance for workplace settings

Guidance on cleaning in non-healthcare settings

HSE guidance on the risk of legionella

Guidance on disposing of personal or business waste during the coronavirus pandemic

Working safely in close contact services (including hairdressers and beauty facilities)

Working safely in factories, plants and warehouses

Working safely in heritage locations

Working safely in hotels and guest accommodation

Working safely in indoor and outdoor sport facilities (including gyms, saunas and steam rooms)

Guidance for outdoor gyms and playgrounds, and soft play areas

Working safely in the performing arts

Working safely in restaurants, pubs, bars and takeaway service

Working safely in retail shops, stores and branches

Working safely in visitor economy settings (including business events, large events, attractions and leisure events)

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