Now that pubs, restaurants, hotels and bars have opened, the Government has now announced that indoor gyms, indoor swimming pools and other sporting facilities are set to open from the 25th of July.
As with the guidance for pubs, restaurants, hotels and bars, the official guidelines have been compiled with the input of various public health bodies.
Although outdoor swimming pools can open from the 11th of July, indoor swimming pools have had to remain closed due to the risk of transmitting the COVID-19 virus was considered too high. The same applied for gyms and all indoor sports facilities.
Unlike outdoor sporting facilities where space and social distancing was never really an issue, indoor establishments and changing rooms were always deemed to be the highest risk due to lack of space and the enclosed environment.
So what changes and rules should we expect when visiting our local gym or swimming pool? Do you own a gym and want to know more? Worry not, we’ve pulled out the key pieces of info everyone needs to know.
Although indoor pools can reopen from the 25th of July, it doesn’t necessarily mean that all will be. Richard Lamburn, head of facilities at Swim England, has said that ideally swimming pools require at least three weeks’ notice in order to safely reopen. This is due to the pools requiring a slow heating process (0.25 degrees per hour) and microbiological tests carried out afterwards.
Always check your local swimming pool or gym to see if they will be opening.
As for most indoor places that are welcoming customers, you will need to provide your full contact details to help with the Government’s Track and Trace programme. It may be that your local swimming pool or gym will require you to book a time slot before you are allowed to use their facilities.
There will almost certainly be limits on the number of people allowed in at any one time, so you you should always check their website or social media accounts before setting off.
Arrive ready to go
In order to reduce the amount of time spent in small changing areas, it is advisable to arrive with your swimsuit/shorts under your clothes. For gyms and sporting facilities this will be easier as you can arrive and leave in the same clothing, but keep this in mind before setting off.
Even if showering facilities are open and available at your local swimming pool or gym, it is advised that you should shower at home and spend as little time as possible in any changing areas. Whilst hand sanitiser should be required at all venues under official guidance, a small bottle in your bag is highly advisable.
Swimming pools will probably not be providing any floats, kick boards or swimming aids, and it is recommended you bring your own. It is best to ensure this is clearly labeled too, and don’t forget your hand sanitiser!
Gyms may have individual restrictions based on what equipment can be used, and so it is worth checking with your local gym before visiting to see what you can or can’t use. Again, it may be that you will be required to book a time slot before you can go.
Unlike before the COVID-19 pandemic, expect any trips to your local swimming pool or gym to take a lot longer than before. With limits on the number of people allowed in, it will almost certainly mean that your old quick 20 minute trip to the local pool or gym before or after work, now takes considerably longer, so plan ahead.
Everyone is bound to feel a little anxious about returning to their local pool or gym, so just be mindful and respect others around you. It is all new to everyone, staff included.
Swimming pools will probably have restrictions in place of how many lanes will be open and how many are allowed in at once, so remember to be patient to swimmers of all abilities.
Gyms will be subject to quite strict restrictions on what they will be allowed to offer in the way of classes or personal training, so just because they’re technically ‘open’, it doesn’t mean that all their classes will be running as before. Check, check and check again.
So how can Defend+ help?
Our unique hand sanitiser can be placed strategically at entrances and exits, to provide a simple and hygienic solution for swimmers and gym goers to quickly sanitise their hands upon entry and leaving the premises.
Available in either a fixed, wall-mounted dispenser, or a portable unit that be either mounted to a fence, wall or railing for example, our dispenser taps provide the perfect solution to all scenarios.
If you’d like to know how Defend+ can protect your business, Get in touch to find out more.