Guidance for reopening gyms, swimming pools and sports facilities

Luton BID has compiled some important information to assist gyms, swimming pools and sports facilities with reopening.

Businesses will be required to complete a site risk assessment before reopening and the BID understands that knowing where to start may be a daunting task.

We hope that by bringing the information below into one place it will make Government guidelines clearer and help you to prepare your premises for the safety of your staff and customers once you are allowed to reopen.
Which businesses can reopen
from 25th July?

Gyms, swimming pools and sports facilities across England will be able to reopen safely from Saturday 25th July under new government plans.

Updated COVID-19 secure guidance sets out the measures for those providing sports facilities about the steps they need to follow to protect staff and customers.

Sports and gyms/leisure facilities span many different simple and complex environments where careful risk assessment of both the venue and activity is required to manage social distancing and effective infection control.

Clear communication to participants, volunteers and workers is critical to ensure that they should take all reasonable measures to comply with social distancing and hygiene measures at all times, before, after and during physical activity.
What does your business have to consider for the safety of staff and customers?

To ensure distancing among workers/volunteers, customers and contractors when moving within and through sports and leisure facilities, businesses must consider the following.

  • Using signage such as ground markings or being creative with other objects to mark out required social distance to allow controlled flows of people.
  • Reducing congestion, for example, by having more entry points to the facility. If you have more than one door, consider having one for entering the building and one for exiting.
  • Organising numbers, routes, schedules for pools, golf courses and ranges, practice nets, climbing walls, similar equipment to maintain distancing.
  • Suspending or modifying activities that are not permitted or cannot be undertaken without contravening social distancing guidelines within available facilities.
  • Encouraging, where weather and space permits, use of outdoor spaces for individual, team or group activities. Considering where applicable government guidance on social gatherings.
  • Reminding customers who are accompanied by children that they are responsible for supervising them at all times and should follow social distancing guidelines.
What other steps do I need to consider?

  • Provide handwashing and hand sanitiser and encouraging staff and customers to wash their hands regularly.
  • Contactless payments advisable throughout facility
  • Details of clients kept for 21 days along with employees name that attended to them (be mindful of GDPR!)
  • One-way systems – usage of signage
  • Fixing doors open that can be safely left open where feasible
  • Avoid paperwork being transferred by enabling such processes as bookings, rosters, ladders, etc. through online channels.
  • Perspex screens at reception desk
  • The number of customers that can reasonably follow social distancing within the gym/leisure facility, taking into account total space, equipment as well as likely constraints and pinch points
  • Enabling a booking system or other approaches to managing demand, so that no more than the desired number of customers and staff are in the building at any one time.
  • All venues should encourage attendees to arrive at the facility in sports kit and where possible to travel home to change/shower.
  • Changing rooms: particular care should be taken to manage congestion and ensure social distancing such as limiting use to alternate lockers, or ideally limiting use to those with special needs and/ or removing use of showers.
  • All equipment thoroughly cleaned/sterilised after each client
  • Particular consideration should be taken for indoor courts and sports halls. They can remain open for use as long as the activities can be modified in such a way that social distancing can be maintained throughout the activity.
  • Pieces of gym equipment to be an appropriate distance apart so as to comply with social distancing guidelines and with a suitable margin for adequate circulation or one-way routes. This can be achieved by moving equipment, using screens to separate equipment, or taking equipment out of use. Clearly visible tape should be put around pieces of gym equipment to denote social distance.
  • All equipment thoroughly cleaned/sterilised after each client
  • Pools: Swimming pools should restrict numbers to allow 3sqm per bather.
  • Saunas and steam rooms should stay out of use for the time being as the risk of transmission is unclear.
  • Avoiding use of shared objects e.g. towels, robes, balls, weights, rackets, balls, scoring equipment, sports clothing unless they can be cleaned or sanitised between users.
  • Ensure that any water fountains have signage which prohibits face-to-tap drinking (no receptacle) and that these facilities are used only to refill personal bottles or containers.
  • Control spectator numbers through pre-booking, ticketing and other controls at access points.
  • Remind all staff and clients that if they feel ill they must not attend the facility.
  • Stagger working times of employees so premises is not too crowded

This is not an exhaustive list of factors, but will be helpful in getting you started on reopening your business safely. Businesses must also have a copy of their COVID secure certificate on display at all times and be prepared for the possibility of having to revert back to a period of lockdown.
COVID business starter recovery packs

Luton BID have put together a COVID-19 recovery starter pack for levy-paying businesses.
3 x social distancing floor graphics
3 x washable face coverings
1 x social distancing window vinyl
1 x hand-washing poster
1 x business compliance poster
1 x social distancing poster
1 x roll of social distancing tape
Please request your pack by emailing and include your business name, business address, contact name and telephone number.
Business Support Guide

Our comprehensive coronavirus Business Support Guide has been updated to reflect the new phase of guidance as announced by the Government.

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Luton BID is project managed by Partnerships for Better Business Ltd

Luton BID 01582 510657

Luton BID is project managed by Partnerships for Better Business Ltd (pfbb UK)