Gymnastics Guidance from the 19th July (England Only) - British Gymnastics

Gymnastics Guidance from the 19th July (England Only)

This guidance explains the actions gymnastics clubs and providers in England should take to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in their environment from the 19th July. 

The FAQ’s have been updated based on the current guidance available from the UK Government and the Department for Education’s Actions for Out of Schools Settings Step 4. Please note the DCMS guidance is continually evolving and is subject to change. Our guidance and FAQ’s will be updated accordingly as more specific information becomes available. 

As we move to Step 4 of the roadmap, the government is moving away from stringent restrictions on everyone’s day-to-day lives, towards advising people on how to protect themselves and others. This includes enabling the public to make informed decisions through guidance, rather than laws. Although most legal restrictions will be lifted at Step 4, and many people have been vaccinated, it is still possible to catch and spread COVID-19, even if you are fully vaccinated. 

Lifting restrictions does not mean that the risks from COVID-19 have disappeared. Instead, it marks a new phase in the Government’s response to the pandemic during which people need to manage the risks to themselves and others as the country learns to live with the virus. COVID-19 has not gone away, so it’s important to remember the actions you can take to keep yourself and others safe. Everybody needs to continue to act carefully and remain cautious. 

All businesses should follow the principles set out in the working safely guidance. Gymnastics providers will still have a legal duty to manage risks to those affected by their business. The way to do this is to carry out a health and safety risk assessment, including the risk of COVID-19, and to take reasonable steps to mitigate the risks you identify. The Working Safely guidance sets out a range of mitigations gymnastics clubs and providers should consider including: 

Maintaining appropriate cleaning regimes and cleaning surfaces that people touch regularly 
Keeping occupied spaces well ventilated and identifying poorly-ventilated areas in the venue and taking steps to improve air flow 
Good hand hygiene practices 
Ensuring that staff and customers who are unwell do not attend the workplace or venue 
Communicating to staff and customers the measures you have put in place 
Following public health advice on testing, self-isolation and managing confirmed cases of COVID-19. 

The main way of spreading COVID-19 is through close contact with an infected person. It is important to consider that others may wish to take a more cautious approach. We should all be considerate of this, and provide the opportunity and space for others to reduce close contacts if they wish. The risk of catching or passing on COVID-19 can be higher in certain places and when doing certain activities.  In general, the risk of catching or passing on COVID-19 is higher: 

in crowded spaces, where there are more people who might be infectious 
in enclosed indoor spaces where there is limited fresh air 

The risk is greatest where these factors overlap, for example in crowded indoor spaces where people are raising their voices. British Gymnastics encourages a phased and gradual approach, and whilst these are no longer legal requirements, we would urge clubs and providers to consider: 

planning relaxations to social distancing within sessions cautiously 
continuing to minimise the number of close contacts coaches and gymnasts have 
where the wearing of a mask/face covering may be appropriate throughout the facility, including during coach contact activities 
implementing capacity restrictions for areas which are prone to crowding or poorly ventilated 
any requirements for staff to be regularly tested such as Lateral Flow Testing before attending 
still displaying a QR code for customers to check in using the NHS COVID-19 app, or having a process in place to collect contact details for parents spectating or visitors at the venue (especially for drop in/pay and play/free roam sessions where a register may not be in place.)  

As COVID-19 becomes a virus that we learn to live with, there is now a need for gymnastics clubs to regularly review and update their current operating procedures and risk assessments whilst still considering the current risk and government advice. Any changes to your current processes and procedures should be carefully planned and take into account the need to consult and communicate with staff and members. When preparing and implementing your revised normal operating procedures you should consider: 

A phased or gradual approach for any changes, exercising caution 
How you are going to regularly review the control measures in place and who needs to be involved 
How, what and when you are going to consult and communicate with staff and members 
Providing clear descriptions for any changes, not everybody will be aware of what was in place before  
New information, signage and/or videos for any updated processes e.g., an updated video walkthrough 
Those who are apprehensive about restrictions easing or changes to their routine 
New members who will have only known the gym with covid restrictions in place 
Updating your procedures on what to do if a gymnast, staff or visitor develops symptoms while at your venue 
Any extra precautions needed for those who are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) (CEV Guidance) 
Having a plan in place to respond to any local or national restrictions being implemented 
Contingency plans for if there is limited staff availability due to positive cases 
Are there any good practices or processes that you can keep in place? 

Your legal duty of care is to try to ensure the environment is safe for those who attend your gym. This includes taking reasonable steps to ensure that your gymnasts, staff and visitors will be safe whilst attending for the purpose of their visit. You will need to regularly review and update your risk assessments, treating them as ‘live documents’, as the circumstances in your setting and the public health advice changes. As a last resort the Government may reimpose restrictions at a local, regional or national level if evidence suggests they are necessary to suppress or manage a dangerous variant and being prepared for such changes will help minimise the disruption to your staff and members. 

Following this guidance will help you stay safe and protect others by controlling the spread. Every action to help reduce the transmission will reduce any further resurgence of the virus in the coming months. 

FAQ’s for 19th July: 

15/07/02021 - Do we still need to complete a COVID-19 risk assessment?
Although most legal restrictions will be lifted at Step 4, and many people have been vaccinated, it is still possible to catch and spread COVID-19, even if you are fully vaccinated.

Lifting restrictions does not mean that the risks from COVID-19 have disappeared. Instead, it marks a new phase in the government’s response to the pandemic during which people need to manage the risks to themselves and others as the country learns to live with the virus. COVID-19 has not gone away, so it’s important to remember the actions you can take to keep yourself and others safe. Everybody needs to continue to act carefully and remain cautious.

All businesses should follow the principles set out in the working safely guidance. Gymnastics providers will still have a legal duty to manage risks to those affected by their business. The way to do this is to carry out a health and safety risk assessment, including the risk of COVID-19, and to take reasonable steps to mitigate the risks you identify. The Working Safely guidance sets out a range of mitigations clubs and gymnastics providers should consider including:

Maintaining appropriate cleaning regimes and cleaning surfaces that people touch regularly
Keeping occupied spaces well ventilated and identifying poorly-ventilated areas in the venue and taking steps to improve air flow
Good hand hygiene practices
Ensuring that staff and customers who are unwell do not attend the workplace or venue
Communicating to staff and customers the measures you have put in place
Following public health advice on testing, self-isolation and managing confirmed cases of COVID-19

The main way of spreading COVID-19 is through close contact with an infected person. It is important to consider that others may wish to take a more cautious approach. We should all be considerate of this, and provide the opportunity and space for others to reduce close contacts if they wish. The risk of catching or passing on COVID-19 can be higher in certain places and when doing certain activities. In general, the risk of catching or passing on COVID-19 is higher:

in crowded spaces, where there are more people who might be infectious
in enclosed indoor spaces where there is limited fresh air

The risk is greatest where these factors overlap, for example in crowded indoor spaces where people are raising their voices. British Gymnastics encourages a phased and gradual approach, and whilst these are no longer legal requirements, we would urge clubs and providers to consider:

planning relaxations to social distancing within sessions cautiously
continuing to minimise the number of close contacts coaches and gymnasts have
where the wearing of a mask/face covering may be appropriate throughout the facility, including during coach contact activities
implementing capacity restrictions for areas which are prone to crowding or poorly ventilated
any requirements for staff to be regularly tested such as Lateral Flow Testing before attending
still displaying a QR code for customers to check in using the NHS COVID-19 app, or having a process in place to collect contact details for parents spectating or visitors at the venue (especially for drop in/pay and play/free roam sessions where a register may not be in place.)

You will need to regularly review and update your risk assessments, treating them as ‘live documents’, as the circumstances in your setting and the public health advice changes. As a last resort, the government may reimpose restrictions at a local, regional or national level if evidence suggests they are necessary to suppress or manage a dangerous variant and being prepared for such changes will help minimise the disruption to your staff and members.

Following this guidance will help you stay safe and protect others by controlling the spread. Every action to help reduce the transmission will reduce any further resurgence of the virus in the coming months.
15/07/02021 - What are the requirements relating to ventilation?
The Government’s Working Safely guidance sets out a range of mitigations clubs and gymnastics providers should consider as part of their COVID-19 Risk Assessment including keeping occupied spaces well ventilated and identifying poorly-ventilated areas in the venue and taking steps to improve air flow.

When your gym is in operation, it is important to ensure it is well ventilated and that a comfortable environment is maintained. You should identify any poorly ventilated spaces as part of your risk assessment and take steps to improve fresh air flow in these areas, giving particular consideration when holding events where spectators are onsite.

If using a mechanical ventilation system this should be adjusted to increase the ventilation rate wherever possible and checked to confirm that normal operation meets current guidance and that only fresh outside air is circulated. If possible, systems should be adjusted to full fresh air. Where mechanical ventilation systems exist, you should ensure that they are maintained in accordance with the manufacturers’ recommendations.

Opening external windows can improve natural ventilation, and in addition, opening internal doors can also assist with creating a throughput of air. If necessary, external opening doors may also be used (if they are not fire doors and where safe to do so, maintaining safety and safeguarding protocols). You should balance the need for increased ventilation while maintaining a comfortable temperature.

The Health and Safety Executive guidance on air conditioning and ventilation during the coronavirus outbreak and CIBSE COVID-19 advice provides more information.
15/07/02021 - Do we still need to socially distance throughout the gym/during sessions?
No, social distancing rules will be lifted and are no longer a legal requirement. However, as part of a phased and gradual approach, whilst it is no longer a legal requirement, British Gymnastics encourages clubs and providers to consider planning relaxations to social distancing throughout the facility and within sessions cautiously. Venues should still consider the flow around the building, taking into account pinch points and areas that may become congested and put in place reasonable mitigations to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The Return to Coach Contact (RTCC) and Team Sport Framework (TSF) no longer apply, and as such partner/group work and sharing of hand apparatus/equipment is now permitted within all types of gymnastics sessions if risk assessed and reasonable mitigations are in place. Gyms should continue to consider the risks of close contact with others and look to minimise the number of close contacts coaches and gymnasts have, reintroducing this in a phased or gradual way. More information can be found in the RTCC or TSF FAQs.

It is important to consider that others may wish to take a more cautious approach. We should all be considerate of this, and provide the opportunity and space for others to reduce close contacts if they wish.

Gymnastics providers still have a legal duty to manage risks to those affected by their business by carrying out a health and safety risk assessment which includes the risk of COVID-19, and to take reasonable steps to mitigate the identified risks. Gyms should be prepared to adapt to any changes in restrictions and have a plan in place to respond to any local or national restrictions being implemented. For more information, please see the ‘Covid-19 Risk Assessment FAQ’.
15/07/02021 - Are there any restrictions to venue capacity and/ or group sizes?
There are no longer any restrictions on group sizes for any types of sessions or the requirement for fixed groups or ‘bubbling’. This includes any previous restrictions on parent and child groups, soft play or adults. The group sizes included within the Team Sport Framework no longer apply.

The maximum occupancy relating to 100 sq ft per person has also been lifted and social distancing is no longer a legal requirement. However, as part of their COVID-19 risk assessment, British Gymnastics is encouraging clubs and gymnastics providers to consider the use of capacity limits in enclosed and crowded spaces, and areas that are poorly ventilated as part of a cautious and phased approach to easing restrictions.

Gymnastics providers still have a legal duty to manage risks to those affected by their business by carrying out a health and safety risk assessment which includes the risk of COVID-19, and to take reasonable steps to mitigate the identified risks. Gyms should be prepared to adapt to any changes in restrictions and have a plan in place to respond to any local or national restrictions being implemented. For more information, please see the ‘Covid-19 Risk Assessment FAQ’.
15/07/02021 - Are masks/face coverings still required?
The legal requirements to wear a face covering will be lifted in all settings from 19th July. To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, the government expects and recommends that people wear a mask/face covering in crowded areas. The government advises that wearing a face covering will reduce your risk and the risk to others, where you come into contact with people you don’t normally meet in enclosed and crowded spaces.

As part of their COVID-19 risk assessment, British Gymnastics encourages clubs and gymnastics providers to consider the use of masks/face coverings in enclosed and crowded spaces, and areas that are poorly ventilated as well as for coach contact activities (more information can be found in the Return to Coach Contact FAQ).

It is important to consider that others may wish to take a more cautious approach. We should all be considerate of this, and provide the opportunity and space for others to feel safe.

Gymnastics providers still have a legal duty to manage risks to those affected by their business by carrying out a health and safety risk assessment which includes the risk of COVID-19, and to take reasonable steps to mitigate the identified risks. Gyms should be prepared to adapt to any changes in restrictions and have a plan in place to respond to any local or national restrictions being implemented. For more information, please see the ‘Covid-19 Risk Assessment FAQ’.

Gymnasts: Both British Gymnastics and the government do not recommend the use of masks/face coverings during sports activities. All forms of face coverings may restrict breathing efficiency and should not be used during exercise except on specific advice from a physician. Gymnasts may choose to wear masks whilst not on apparatus, between time on apparatus, if they so wish, but masks should not be worn whilst on equipment or performing any form of gymnastics elements, including warmups/cool downs.
15/07/02021 - How often should equipment be cleaned?
The assessment of cleaning needs and frequency of cleaning for each gym area and the equipment within remains the gym’s individual responsibility based on users, cleaning policy and equipment being used. Cleaning practices must follow the user instructions and the cleaning product directions. Cleaning requirements should be included in the risk assessment. 

Hand sanitisation and stopping those with symptoms entering the venue are important measures to help reduce the risk of transmission.
15/07/02021 - How often should hand sanitisation take place?
Hands touch many surfaces and can become contaminated with viruses, including COVID-19. Regular hand washing is an effective way to reduce your risk of catching illnesses, including COVID-19 and therefore regular hand washing/sanitising should form part of a COVID-19 Risk Assessment.

It is good practice to have hand sanitising processes in place at the gym so that gymnasts and coaches/instructors can keep up good hand hygiene. The number of stations is dependent on the size of your facility and should be assessed within your risk assessment. In smaller facilities, it may be only necessary to have hand sanitising stations at entry and exit points.
15/07/02021 - Are we still required to have a COVID-19 Officer or responsible person?
Each gym should have a competent person who is responsible for ensuring there are measures in place to mitigate the risk of Covid-19 within the club. This person could be your director, head coach, welfare officer or a dedicated person within the gym. They do not need to be a Covid-19 officer, they should be responsible for ensuring the risk assessment is carried out and the control measures are in place and being adhered to.
15/07/02021 - What are the requirements for NHS Test and Trace?
We’re currently awaiting updated government guidance regarding the requirements for NHS Test and Trace.

British Gymnastics and the government are encouraging venues to still display a QR code for customers to check in using the NHS COVID-19 app, or having a process in place to collect contact details for parents spectating or visitors at the venue (especially for drop in/pay and play/free roam sessions where a register may not be in place.)

Please contact NHS Test and Trace on 119 if you have any questions regarding positive cases at your gym.
15/07/02021 - When will gymnasts and coaches be required to self isolate?
It is still law to self isolate if you develop COVID-19 symptoms.

if someone from your gym develops COVID-19 symptoms, they should self isolate immediately and get a PCR test, even if their symptoms are mild. They should self-isolate at home while they book a test and wait for the results. They must self-isolate if they test positive. The isolation period includes the day the symptoms started (or the day the test was taken if they do not have symptoms), and the next 10 full days. This is the law.

Everyone must also self-isolate if they are told to do so by NHS Test and Trace, for example if they have come into contact with someone who has tested positive. This remains the law, regardless of your vaccination status.

From 16th August, if someone has been fully vaccinated they will be exempt from the requirement to self-isolate if they are a contact of a positive case. They will instead be advised to take a PCR test as soon as possible.

Those under the age of 18 will also be exempt from self-isolation from 16th August if deemed a contact of a positive case. As with adults, they will be advised whether a PCR test needs to be taken. 18 year olds will be treated in the same way as under 18 year olds until 4 months after their 18th birthday, to allow them the opportunity to get fully vaccinated.

If someone tests positive they will still need to self-isolate regardless of their vaccination status or age.

When self-isolating, follow the stay-at-home guidance. This will help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 to other members of their household and community. You must stay at home at all times and not have contact with other people. You could be fined if you do not self-isolate following notification by NHS Test & Trace.

Gymnastics providers still have a legal duty to manage risks to those affected by their business by carrying out a health and safety risk assessment which includes the risk of COVID-19, and to take reasonable steps to mitigate the identified risks. Gyms should be prepared to adapt to any changes in restrictions and have a plan in place to respond to any local or national restrictions being implemented. For more information, please see the ‘Covid-19 Risk Assessment FAQ’.

Gyms should ensure they have procedures in place for what to do if a gymnast, staff or visitor develops symptoms while at their venue and have contingency plans for if there is limited staff available due to positive cases amongst the workforce.
15/07/02021 - What are the requirements for workplace testing?
The government are encouraging everyone to test regularly. Testing twice a week increases the chances of detecting COVID-19 when a person is infectious – helping to make sure you don’t spread COVID-19.

Rapid lateral flow testing is available for free to anybody, but is particularly focused on those who are not fully vaccinated. Gymnastics clubs may also wish to use regular rapid testing to help manage periods of risk such as returning to the workplace, or when spending prolonged time with a more vulnerable individual. Find out more about how to get rapid lateral flow tests.
15/07/02021 - Are spectators permitted?
Yes, spectators (parents/carers watching their child’s session), are allowed both indoors and outdoors and there are no longer any capacity, ventilation, social distancing or legal gathering limits that must be adhered to.

British Gymnastics encourages clubs and gymnastics providers to consider as part of their COVID-19 risk assessment the use of capacity limits and/or the wearing of masks/face coverings in enclosed and crowded spaces, and areas that are poorly ventilated.

When communicating the reintroduction of spectators within your facility, you may need to provide clear descriptions for any changes, as some members will not be aware of what policies and procedures are in place.

Whilst it is no longer a legal requirement, gyms are encouraged to still display a QR code for customers to check in using the NHS COVID-19 app or have a process in place to collect contact details for parents spectating or visitors at the venue (especially for drop in/pay and play/free roam sessions where a register may not be in place).

When reintroducing spectators to your gym, you have a legal duty to manage the risks by carrying out a health and safety risk assessment which includes the risk of COVID-19, and to take reasonable steps to mitigate the identified risks. Gyms should be prepared to adapt to any changes in restrictions and have a plan in place to respond to any local or national restrictions being implemented. For more information, please see the ‘Covid-19 Risk Assessment FAQ’.
15/07/02021 - Are other facilities able to open such as changing rooms/cafés? Can refreshments be consumed during training?
Changing rooms, shower facilities and communal spaces such as areas used for training breaks are now fully open.

British Gymnastics encourages clubs and gymnastics providers to consider as part of their COVID-19 risk assessment the use of capacity limits and/or the wearing of masks/face coverings in enclosed and crowded spaces, and areas that are poorly ventilated. Other mitigations could include:

Encouraging people to minimise time spent in communal areas.
Staggering break times for individuals and/or groups.
Communicating clearly to members on how they can use the area safely. Ensure that staff and members are aware of the additional risks in these areas.
Take particular care to clean water fountains, and where possible encourage the use of refillable personal bottles or containers. Avoid face-to-tap drinking.
Maximise natural ventilation flows (though opening windows and doors or using air conditioning systems wherever possible) in communal areas, maintaining safety and safeguarding protocols.
Hand sanitiser to be used before and after all breaks in training
Wash or sanitise hands before and after eating
Avoid the sharing of food and drink, including their containers/bottles.
Implement regular cleaning and increased hygiene procedures for communal areas.

When reintroducing the use of communal areas in your gym, you have a legal duty to manage the risks by carrying out a health and safety risk assessment which includes the risk of COVID-19, and to take reasonable steps to mitigate the identified risks. Gyms should be prepared to adapt to any changes in restrictions and have a plan in place to respond to any local or national restrictions being implemented. For more information, please see the ‘Covid-19 Risk Assessment FAQ’.

Facilities that include a shop, café, or provision to sell food and drink, should consult and follow the government guidance on hospitality settings (England).
15/07/02021 - What does Step 4 mean for coach contact (spotting/supporting) and the Return to Coach Contact Framework?
The Return to Coach Contact Framework no longer applies to those wishing to resume coach contact activities including manual support. However, the framework is still available and British Gymnastics encourages gyms to continue with a phased and cautious approach to reducing control measures for contact activities. The framework can be used to help gyms further risk assess contact activities within their sessions and to put reasonable mitigations in place to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Consultation with your membership should take place to help gain a better understanding of how your staff, parents/carers and gymnasts feel about the restrictions easing. Feedback from the consultation should help inform your risk assessment and the degree of measures required. These could include:

utilising the framework and using a phased approach if not yet returned to contact activities
minimising the number of contacts any one coach has, increasing numbers in a careful and steady way
encouraging the wearing of masks/face coverings, particularly if gymnasts/coaches are feeling uncomfortable with restrictions easing
continuing to use opt in forms to ensure all returning to contact activities are away of the increased risks and measures in place
regular hand sanitising for coaches/instructors and gymnasts
self screening or lateral flow testing to ensure those with symptoms do not enter the building or perform contact activities
Gymnasts and coaches/instructors should be discouraged to touch their face, mouth, nose or eyes and practice good hand hygiene.

It is important to consider that others may wish to take a more cautious approach. We should all be considerate of this, and provide the opportunity and space for others to reduce close contacts if they wish.

Gymnastics providers still have a legal duty to manage risks to those affected by their business by carrying out a health and safety risk assessment which includes the risk of COVID-19, and to take reasonable steps to mitigate the identified risks. Gyms should be prepared to adapt to any changes in restrictions and have a plan in place to respond to any local or national restrictions being implemented. For more information, please see the ‘Covid-19 Risk Assessment FAQ’.
15/07/02021 - What does Step 4 mean for the Team Sport disciplines and activities?
The Team Sport Framework no longer applies for the identified disciplines and activities, and as such partner/group work and sharing of hand apparatus/equipment is now permitted within all types of gymnastics sessions if risk assessed and reasonable mitigations are in place.

The framework is still available and British Gymnastics encourages clubs to continue with a phased and cautious approach to reducing control measures for contact activities. The framework can be used to help gyms further risk assess contact activities within their sessions and to put reasonable mitigations in place to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Consultation with your membership should take place to help gain a better understanding of how your staff, parents/carers and gymnasts feel about the restrictions easing. Feedback from the consultation should help inform your risk assessment and the degree of measures required. These could include:

utilising the framework and using a phased approach if not yet returned to contact activities
minimising the number of contacts any one gymnast has, increasing the number of contacts in a careful and steady way
limiting the changing of partnerships/groups during a session
continuing to use opt in forms to ensure all returning to contact activities are away of the increased risks and measures in place
regular hand sanitising for gymnasts
frequent cleaning of hand apparatus/equipment
controlling the sharing of hand-held equipment between different pairs/groups
use easy to clean equipment such as wooden or plastic equipment
self screening or lateral flow testing to ensure those with symptoms do not enter the building or perform contact activities
Gymnasts and coaches/instructors should be discouraged to touch their face, mouth, nose or eyes and practice good hand hygiene.

It is important to consider that others may wish to take a more cautious approach. We should all be considerate of this, and provide the opportunity and space for others to reduce close contacts if they wish.

Gymnastics providers still have a legal duty to manage risks to those affected by their business by carrying out a health and safety risk assessment which includes the risk of COVID-19, and to take reasonable steps to mitigate the identified risks. Gyms should be prepared to adapt to any changes in restrictions and have a plan in place to respond to any local or national restrictions being implemented. For more information, please see the ‘Covid-19 Risk Assessment FAQ’.
15/07/02021 - What does Step 4 mean for gymnastics events and competitions and the Return to Events Framework?
The Return to Events Framework no longer applies to gymnastics events and competitions (including inter club training/regional squad sessions). However, you may wish to use this as a guide to support you with planning your event and completion of a COVID-19 Risk Assessment. There are no longer any Covid restrictions on capacity, social distancing, or legal gathering limits for event participants and spectators. However, British Gymnastics encourages event organisers to take a cautious approach and put in place reasonable mitigations to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The Return to Coach Contact (RTCC) and Team Sport Framework (TSF) no longer apply and do not need to be adhered to at events. Organisers running inter club training/regional squad sessions should consider contact activities as part of their COVID-19 Risk Assessment and put appropriate measures in place. Please see the RTCC and TSF FAQs for more information.

We are awaiting further information from the government regarding what constitutes a large event and whether or not the NHS COVID Pass will be applicable for gymnastics events.

If hiring a space to run an event, it is essential that organisers work in collaboration with venue management to ensure that appropriate safeguards and control measures can be agreed and implemented.

Clubs and/or regional associations wishing to run a gymnastics competition/event, (including inter club training/regional squad sessions) still have a legal duty to manage risks for those attending their event by carrying out a health and safety risk assessment which includes the risk of COVID-19, and to take reasonable steps to mitigate the identified risks. Organisers should be prepared to adapt to any changes in restrictions and have a plan in place to respond to any local or national restrictions being implemented. For more information please see the ‘Covid-19 Risk Assessment FAQ’.
15/07/02021 - Do gyms still need to follow the Foam Pits Guidance?
The foam pits guidance is no longer applicable; however British Gymnastics encourages clubs and providers to review and update their Covid-19 Risk Assessment with appropriate control measures for limiting the spread of the virus when using foam pits. The ‘Reintroduction of foam pits’ guidance will still be available to provide information on possible control measures.

Gymnastics providers still have a legal duty to manage risks to those affected by their business by carrying out a health and safety risk assessment which includes the risk of COVID-19, and to take reasonable steps to mitigate the identified risks. Gyms should be prepared to adapt to any changes in restrictions and have a plan in place to respond to any local or national restrictions being implemented. For more information, please see the ‘Covid-19 Risk Assessment FAQ’.
15/07/02021 - Can gymnasts work in pairs and or groups and share handheld equipment such as hoops/bean bags?
The Team Sport Framework no longer applies for the identified disciplines and activities, and as such partner/group work and sharing of hand apparatus/equipment is now permitted within all types of gymnastics sessions if risk assessed and reasonable mitigations are in place.

Gyms should review their use of hand equipment and toys (preschool/recreational sessions) with the associated cleaning needs and risks according to the materials they are made of and any cleaning related instructions.

Please see the Team Sport Framework FAQ for more information.
15/07/02021 - Can gymnasts share personal equipment such as handguards and/or chalk?
There are no longer any restrictions in place on the sharing of personal equipment, however clubs and gymnastics providers should still consider limiting the sharing of such items where they are not easily cleaned (e.g. hand guards.) If sharing personal equipment, appropriate mitigations need to be included in a COVID-19 Risk Assessment, e.g. regular hand sanitising, frequent cleaning of equipment.

Gymnasts should continue to refrain from spitting on their hand guards and should use their own water spray.

If allowing personal items to be left in the gym, consider how these could be kept separate from others to help reduce the spread of the virus. Thought should also be given to the cleaning frequency of areas that house personal belongings.

If using communal chalk bowls, this will need to be considered within your COVID-19 Risk Assessment.
15/07/02021 - Can those considered Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) take part in gymnastics? What considerations should be put in place?
Yes, gymnasts who are considered Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) are able to take part in gymnastics sessions. They will be required as a minimum to follow the same guidance as everyone else. However, as there is a higher risk of someone considered CEV of becoming seriously ill if they were to catch COVID-19, gymnastics clubs and providers may wish to think carefully about additional precautions and reasonable adjustments that can be put into place. Care should be taken to discuss and communicate with parents/carers and gymnasts on their individual needs. Measures could include:

Limiting close contact with those they do not usually meet with in order to reduce the risk of catching or spreading COVID-19, particularly in areas where COVID-19 disease levels in the general community are high.
Making sure the space is well ventilated
Considering whether coaches, staff and volunteers have been vaccinated, CEV individuals might want to wait until 14 days after their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine before being in close contact with others
Regular hand washing and advising gymnasts and coaches to avoid touching their face
Continuing to practice social distancing if individuals feel that is right for them
Asking those attending the session to take a lateral flow test beforehand
Following public health advice on testing, self-isolation and managing confirmed cases of COVID-19
Coaches, staff and volunteers to wear a mask/face covering for coach contact activities

It is important to respect and be considerate of those who may wish to take a more cautious approach as restrictions are lifted. We should all be considerate of this, and provide the opportunity and space for others to reduce close contacts if they wish.

Clinically extremely vulnerable children should have returned to their out of school settings including sports clubs. If parents/carers are concerned about their child’s attendance at gymnastics, they should speak to the welfare officer, manager or coach about their concerns and discuss the measures that have been put in place to reduce the risk. They should also discuss other measures that can be put in place to ensure their children can regularly attend.

Gymnastics providers still have a legal duty to manage risks to those affected by their business by carrying out a health and safety risk assessment which includes the risk of COVID-19, and to take reasonable steps to mitigate the identified risks. Gyms should be prepared to adapt to any changes in restrictions and have a plan in place to respond to any local or national restrictions being implemented. For more information, please see the ‘Covid-19 Risk Assessment FAQ’.
15/07/02021 - Are children’s birthday parties allowed to run?
Yes, birthday parties are allowed to take place. There are no longer any capacity, ventilation, social distancing or legal gathering limits that must be adhered to.

Singing and music are permitted. Some activities, however, can increase the risk of catching or passing on COVID-19. This happens where people are doing activities which generate more droplets as they breathe heavily, such as singing, dancing, exercising or raising their voices. The risk is greatest where these factors overlap, for example in crowded indoor spaces where people are raising their voices and exercising. In situations where there is a higher risk of catching or passing on COVID-19, clubs and gymnastics providers need to ensure reasonable mitigations are in place through a COVID-19 risk assessment. For example, mitigations could include:

ensuring the space is well ventilated
discouraging shouting or singing loudly
keep any background or accompanying music to levels which do not encourage raising of voices
back-to-back or side-to-side positioning (rather than face-to-face)
limit the length of singing activity as far as possible

The Return to Coach Contact (RTCC) and Team Sport Frameworks (TSF) no longer apply and manual support, partner work and sharing of equipment is now permitted within Birthday Parties if risk assessed and reasonable mitigations are in place. Please see the RTCC and TSF FAQ for more information.

Gymnastics providers still have a legal duty to manage risks to those affected by their business by carrying out a health and safety risk assessment which includes the risk of COVID-19, and to take reasonable steps to mitigate the identified risks. Gyms should be prepared to adapt to any changes in restrictions and have a plan in place to respond to any local or national restrictions being implemented. For more information, please see the ‘Covid-19 Risk Assessment FAQ’.

Facilities that include a shop, café, or provision to sell food and drink, should consult and follow the government guidance on hospitality settings (England)
15/07/02021 - Can holiday clubs run?
Yes, there are no restrictions on the types of sessions that can run. If running holiday clubs, gyms should complete a risk assessment, including identifying the risks for COVID-19 and put in place reasonable mitigations.

The FAQs included on this page provide further information to support with the planning and risk assessing of these sessions.
15/07/02021 - Can singing take place in sessions such as Preschool?
Singing and music are permitted. Some activities, however, can increase the risk of catching or passing on COVID-19. This happens where people are doing activities which generate more droplets as they breathe heavily, such as singing, dancing, exercising or raising their voices. The risk is greatest where these factors overlap, for example in crowded indoor spaces where people are raising their voices and exercising. In situations where there is a higher risk of catching or passing on COVID-19, clubs need to ensure reasonable mitigations are in place through a COVID-19 risk assessment. For example, mitigations could include:

ensuring the space is well ventilated
discouraging shouting or singing loudly
keep any background or accompanying music to levels which do not encourage raising of voices
back-to-back or side-to-side positioning (rather than face-to-face)
limit the length of singing activity as far as possible

Gymnastics providers still have a legal duty to manage risks to those affected by their business by carrying out a health and safety risk assessment which includes the risk of COVID-19, and to take reasonable steps to mitigate the identified risks. Gyms should be prepared to adapt to any changes in restrictions and have a plan in place to respond to any local or national restrictions being implemented. For more information, please see the ‘Covid-19 Risk Assessment FAQ’.
15/07/02021 - Can gymnastics activity take place outdoors?
British Gymnastics endorses and permits activity outdoors as part of its membership benefits.

The permissible insured activity is limited to British Gymnastics endorsed programmes:

GymFIT
Jump into Gymnastics
Proficiency (specifically those made available during lockdown)
FUNdamentals
Activities centred around fitness, conditioning, and flexibility

For a full list of skills permitted outside (including prohibited skills) please see the Online and Outdoor Activity Skills List.

The variables of the environment will determine which skills are appropriate for the session. A thorough risk assessment of the environment and activity should take place before each session, which is clearly communicated with your staff and members. Activity should not include the development of new skills.

Outdoor sessions still require the use of sufficient matting, the approved outdoor activity skills list is based on all outdoor skills taking place on a safely matted surface. Approved hand apparatus (found in the Online and Outdoor Activity Skills List) can be used throughout the session. Regular cleaning of equipment and hand sanitisation must take place as per the club’s Covid-19 Risk Assessment. Large equipment such as bars, mushrooms, trampettes and beams must not be used.

British Gymnastics gymnast to coach/teacher ratios and safeguarding policies should be adhered to at all times.

Please see here for further guidance on Outdoor Activity and to download a sample risk assessment.
15/07/02021 - Can online sessions continue to run?
British Gymnastics Membership includes access to, and fully comprehensive, insurance for British Gymnastics endorsed activity at home and virtual activities based around fitness, conditioning and flexibility.

For information on how to manage and deliver online floor-based activities safely at home please consult the Online activity session guidance.

The Online and Outdoor Activity Skills List outlines approved and prohibited skills for gymnasts at home. The permissible insured ‘at home’ activity is limited to British Gymnastics endorsed programmes: 

GymFIT 
Jump into Gymnastics 
Core Proficiency Awards (specifically those made available during lockdown) 
FUNdamentals 
Activities centred around fitness, conditioning, and flexibility 

When planning your at home sessions and choosing activities and/or skills, please consult the Online Activity Skills List to ensure your delivery is in line with the following categories:

Parent or Carer supervised training
Online live supervised sessions
Online live supervised sessions with competency

#GymnastsatHome activity can be found here.
15/07/02021 - Do gymnasts need British Gymnastics membership to take part in online activity sessions?
All gymnasts must be British Gymnastics registered members to take part in online activity sessions. Those joining the club for the first time are entitled to two free taster sessions and should take out British Gymnastics membership thereafter.
15/07/02021 - Can a coach deliver activities whilst on furlough?
Delivering gymnastics activities (Coaches/Employees)
You should not carry out any work duties, whilst on furlough, this includes planning or delivering any outdoor, indoor or online (live or pre-recorded) gymnastics activities or sessions.  Please contact your employer for clarification if you are unsure as to whether this affects you or refer to the government guidance.

Delivering gymnastics activities (Employers)
If you are planning to deliver outdoor, indoor and/or online (live or pre-recorded) activity sessions, and your staff are furloughed it is very important to review the government information about furlough to ensure you are working in line with the regulations. Coaches on furlough cannot provide a service or volunteer to provide a service for your organisation or those linked to your organisation.
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