Step Forward FAQS - British Gymnastics

Step Forward FAQS

UPDATED: Wednesday 2nd December - England Only

 

The FAQ’s have been updated based on the current guidance available from the UK Government regarding the local restriction tiers in England. Clubs and delivery providers will be allowed to reopen on Wednesday 2nd December. Please note the guidance is continually evolving and is subject to change. Our guidance and FAQ’s will be updated accordingly as more specific information becomes available.

To find out the coronavirus restrictions in your local area, use the government’s postcode checker

The below updates to the FAQs do not come into effect until Wednesday 2nd December.
02/12/2020 - What activity is permitted in the local restriction tiers in England?
The following information is based on the current guidance available from the UK Government regarding the local restriction tiers in England. Clubs and delivery providers will be allowed to reopen on Wednesday 2nd December as per the below. Please note the guidance is continually evolving and is subject to change. Our guidance and FAQ’s will be updated accordingly as more specific information becomes available. 

To find out the coronavirus restrictions in your local area, use the government’s postcode checker. This will be available from Thursday 26th November.  

For more information on sessions for adults over the age of 18 please see the FAQ relating to this.
Tier 1 
(Medium)

Under the Covid-secure guidance outlined in the Step
Forward Plan the following is permitted in Tier One: 

Supervised sport and physical activity for under 18’s (including those who were under 18 on 31st
August 2020)

• Disability Sport (the “rule of six” does not apply to disabled participants, irrespective of age)

• Parent and Toddler gymnastics sessions

• Elite Sport

• Activities and disciplines identified within the British
Gymnastics Team Sport Framework for under 18’s

• For those aged 18 and over, adults may continue to
train within sessions and the rule of six must be followed
for activities and disciplines identified in the Team Sport
Framework.

For educational purposes over 18’s can take part in any
number

Tier 2
(High)
Under the Covid-secure guidance outlined in the Step 
Forward Plan the following is permitted in Tier Two:  

Supervised sport and physical activity for under 18’s (including those who were under 18 on 31st
August 2020)


• Disability Sport (the “rule of six” does not apply to disabled participants,
irrespective of age)

• Parent and Toddler gymnastics sessions


• Elite Sport


• Activities and disciplines identified within the British Gymnastics Team
Sport Framework for under 18’s

• For those aged 18 and over, adults may continue to train individually (or together as
part of the same
household or support bubble). Activity under the Team Sport Framework for those aged 18 and over is

not permitted.

• For educational purposes over 18’s can take part in any number  
Tier 3
(Very High)
Under the Covid-secure guidance outlined in the Step
Forward Plan the following is permitted in Tier Three: 

Supervised sport and physical activity for under 18’s (including those who were under 18 on 31st
August 2020)


• Disability Sport (the “rule of six” does not apply to disabled participants,
irrespective of age)

• Parent and Toddler gymnastics sessions - Please note: indoor play centres, and areas including soft play
must close under tier 3 local restrictions, therefore
sessions where children under 5 and adults have free
   movement of the gymnastics space should not take place. This also includes ‘free play’ sessions for
   children of any age.

• Elite Sport


• Activities and disciplines identified within the British Gymnastics Team
Sport Framework for under 18’s

For those aged 18 and over, adults may continue to train individually (or together part of the same
household or support bubble). Activity under the Team Sport Framework for those aged 18 and over is
not permitted.


• For educational purposes over 18’s can take part in any number
02/12/2020 - Can over 18’s/adults take part in gymnastics in the three tiers for local restrictions? (England Only)
England
England - Gymnastics activity for adults varies across each of the three tiers.  

To find out the coronavirus restrictions in your local area, use the government’s postcode checker. For more information on how the tiers affect gymnastics clubs please see FAQ regarding local restriction tiers. 

You should follow all relevant government transport guidance when making a journey into, within or out of the local restrictions. 

Participants who were under 18 on the 31st August 2020 may continue to be considered as under 18 in relation to the local restrictions.

The following activities may continue for those aged 18 and over across all 3 tiers: 
Disability Sport (the “rule of six” does not apply to disabled participants, irrespective of age) 
Educational purposes over 18’s can take part in any number 
Elite Sport 

Please note the guidance is continually evolving and is subject to change. 

Tier 1 – Medium
Adults may continue to train within their sessions and the rule of six must be followed. Providing appropriate control measures are in place, sessions are permitted where more than six adults attend as long as social distancing is maintained. Contact is not permitted between coaches and gymnasts. No contact is permitted between gymnasts and gymnasts unless adults are taking part in team sport activities. 

Team Sport Framework (18+): 
The “rule of six” restrictions apply to team sport for those aged 18 and over. In group activities within the identified disciplines, the ‘rule of six’ applies and no more than six adults from different households can work together within any one group. This primarily affects TeamGym and Festival Display gymnastics as group sizes are larger than six.  

Clubs who are following the British Gymnastics Team Sport Framework and running pair and group activities (as outlined within the Action Plan) must adhere to the controls within the Action Plan. 

Tier 2 – High and Tier 3  Very High 
Individual training for adults over the age of 18 is permitted within a gymnastics environment or session if all activities are performed individually i.e. only one person on a piece of apparatus at any one time, individual warmups.  

There must be no sharing of equipment, close-contact between gymnasts, or multiple adults on the same piece of apparatus taking turns. Equipment should be cleaned between individual users where possible and regular hand sanitisation in place. A coach will need to be present in a supervising role or provide coaching on a one-to-one basis subject to there being no close-contact between the coach and gymnast. 

The session delivery must follow the existing Step Forward Plan guidance for capacity, social distancing, hand sanitisation and increased provision of cleaning of the facility and equipment.  

Adult classes can take place at the same time as sessions for under 18’s, however, it is imperative to ensure apparatus is not shared between user groups without appropriate controls (such as the thorough cleaning of equipment and hand sanitisation). Indoor spaces may be zoned to prevent interaction between different user groups. Social distancing must be maintained in all sessions and between all user groups throughout the facility.  

No activity under the Team Sport Framework is permitted for over 18’s unless gymnasts come from the same household. 
24/11/2020 - What date are clubs & Leisure Centres able to reopen?
England
The government have confirmed that certain leisure and sporting facilities such as gyms, sports courts and facilities, leisure centres, fitness and dance studios, golf courses, swimming pools, (inclusive of gymnastics clubs) can reopen on 2nd December 2020 for permitted activities.  

Northern Ireland
As of Friday 27th November, gymnastics activity will not be permitted and clubs and leisure centres are required to close for a minimum of 2 weeks. 

More information can be found here.  

24/11/2020 - What should I do if my region goes into local lockdown? (Northern Ireland and Wales)
England
The UK Government has implemented 3 local restriction tiers; 

The UK Government has implemented 3 local COVID alert levels. Each area has a Local COVID Alert Level. Sometimes these are called ‘tiers’ or known as a ‘local lockdown’. 

Tier 1 – Medium 
Tier 2 – High 
Tier 3 – Very High 

To find out the coronavirus restrictions in your local area, use the government’s postcode checker. For more information on what activities are permitted, please see FAQ on local restriction tiers. 

You should follow all relevant government transport guidance when making a journey into, within or out of the different tiers. 

It’s important to keep up to date with the guidance published by your local authority to ensure legal compliance. 

If you would like free expert health and safety advice, please contact our partner Agility on 01527 571 612 or email [email protected]

Northern Ireland
If your club is situated in an area that is being affected by local lockdown restrictions and regulations, we advise you to check the guidance that is being published by your Local Authority as this will differ in each area. Information regarding local restrictions in Northern Ireland can be found here

You should follow all relevant government travel guidance when making a journey into, within or out of the areas affected. 

It’s important to keep up to date with the guidance published by your local authority to ensure legal compliance. 

If you would like free expert health and safety advice, please contact our partner Agility on 01527 571 612 or email [email protected]

Wales
If your club is situated in an area that is being affected by local lockdown restrictions and regulations, we advise you to check the guidance that is being published by your Local Authority as this will differ in each area.

At present children under the age of 18 are able to travel in and out of local lockdown areas to participate in supervised activities. Volunteer and employed coaches who are essential for delivery of that provision are able to travel also.
24/11/2020 - Are children’s birthday parties allowed to run?
The guidance organisations need to follow will differ depending on the type of child’s party being delivered.

With regulations differing across the UK in areas of local lockdowns, it is important to check the regulations in your area regarding closures, indoor sport and travel regulations. 

It is important to ensure that risk assessments have been carried out and robust control measures are in place to limit the spread of Covid-19. You also need to ensure you can meet the requirements for  NHS Test and Trace.  

Structured Gymnastics Parties 
Structured gymnastics parties (including supervised structured adult and child parties) can continue to run as long as they are following the existing Step Forward Plan and DCMS guidance. All parties must not exceed capacity regulations and ensure social distancing is maintained throughout. Within the party, group sizes must be limited to 15 however you can have multiple groups of 15 depending on the space available. 

In line with current guidance it is recommended to refrain from singing during parties. Throughout the party, encourage coaches to avoid raising their voices and be creative when interacting with children. The use of music (at a low volume) is allowed.   

You should refrain from allowing a space for non-gymnastics activities (i.e. food/party games*) to be hired unless facilities include a shop, café, or provision to sell food and drink, clubs should consult and follow the government guidance on hospitality settings

Where possible attendance by spectators (parents watching the party) and non-participating children at parties should be avoided and minimised, especially within indoor facilities. Processes should be in place to carefully control numbers (for more information see Viewing FAQ). 

Parent and Child (under 5) Gymnastics Parties 
Gymnastics parties that are overseen by a supervising coach, where children under 5 and adults have free movement of the gymnastics space, can continue to run as long as they are following the existing Step Forward Plan and DCMS guidance. All parties must not exceed capacity regulations and ensure social distancing is maintained throughout. A supervising adult should be in attendance for each child to ensure social distancing can be adhered to. Clubs should discourage parents and guardians from gathering in groups inside or outside the premises, including before, during and after the party.   

In line with current guidance it is recommended to refrain from singing during parties. Throughout the party, encourage coaches to avoid raising their voices and be creative when interacting with children. The use of music (at a low volume) is allowed.   

You should refrain from allowing a space for non-gymnastics activities (i.e. food/party games*) to be hired unless facilities include a shop, café, or provision to sell food and drink, clubs should consult and follow the government guidance on hospitality settings

Where possible attendance by spectators/parents who are not supervising the child and non-participating children at parties should be avoided and minimised, especially within indoor facilities. Processes should be in place to carefully control numbers (for more information see Viewing FAQ). 

*Social distanced party games e.g. musical statues can be played in the gym as part of the gymnastics activity. 

England only - Please note, indoor play centres, and areas including soft play must close under tier 3 local restrictions, therefore birthday parties where children under 5 and adults have free movement of the gymnastics space should not take place. This also includes ‘free play’ birthday parties for children of any age. 

Indoor Play Areas: 

For venues with a dedicated indoor play (including indoor soft play) area or running unstructured unsupervised play activity; Management should refer to the government guidance on the safe use of multi-purpose community facilities which points to the DfE guidance for out of school settings and guidance for play areas which points towards the BALPPA Indoor play areas for children operational guidance for soft play equipment for all relevant information. 

England only - Please note, indoor play centres, and areas including soft play must close under tier 3 local restrictions. 
24/11/2020 - Can gymnasts work in pairs and or groups?

England
For any disciplines that require close contact or teamwork elements within their training, for example; Acrobatics, Rhythmic groups, TeamGym, Aerobics pairs and groups, and Festival groups the British Gymnastics Team Sport Framework has now been approved by the DCMS and identified disciplines and activities can resume in a safe and controlled environment where clubs and delivery providers adopt all controls as outlined within the British Gymnastics Team Sport Framework Action Plan. For full information please refer to the Team Sport Framework page and Team Sport Framework FAQ’s.  

Social distancing within individual activities and all other disciplines must be adhered to at all times where no contact is permitted between coaches and gymnasts, or gymnasts and gymnasts until the relevant government remove/review social distancing measures. 

Under the local restriction tier system, under 18 team sport activities are permitted. Gymnastics activity for adults varies across each of the three tiers, please see ‘Can over 18’s/adults take part in gymnastics in the three tiers for local restrictions? (England Only) FAQ for more information

Northern Ireland
Social distancing must be adhered to at all times and no contact is permitted between coaches and gymnasts, or gymnasts and gymnasts until the relevant government remove/review social distancing measures.  

For any disciplines that require close contact or teamwork elements within their training, for example; Acrobatics, Rhythmic groups, TeamGym, Aerobics pairs and groups, Festival groups; until the government reviews/removes their social distancing guidelines, all training will be required to be non-contact and planned to include solo or socially distanced skills/activities.  

Guidance refers to 'maintaining social distancing where possible', this is only applicable in emergency situations.

Wales
Social distancing must be adhered to at all times and no contact is permitted between coaches and gymnasts, or gymnasts and gymnasts until the relevant government remove/review social distancing measures. 

For any disciplines that require close contact or teamwork elements within their training, for example; Acrobatics, Rhythmic groups, TeamGym, Aerobics pairs and groups, Festival groups; until the government reviews/removes their social distancing guidelines, all training will be required to be non-contact and planned to include solo or socially distanced skills/activities. 

24/11/2020 - Can gymnasts share hand-held equipment (e.g. hoops/bean bags), personal equipment (e.g. handguards) and/or chalk?

It is recommended that personal equipment e.g. chalk/hand guards/gloves & loops are taken home after each session and not left in the gym due to the risk of transmission.  Hand equipment and personal equipment must not be shared. Each gymnast must have their own equipment (rhythmic apparatus, handguards, gloves and loops, conditioning aids including ankle weights, elastic bands, rollers etc). Gymnasts should refrain from spitting on their hand guards and should use their own water spray.

Clubs should carefully 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. Activities should prioritise apparatus free activities or activities with wooden or plastic equipment (plastic balls instead of beanbags, or balloons, or wooden/plastic blocks).

British Gymnastics recommends that communal chalk bowls be removed, and gymnasts should use their own chalk, in a clearly labelled container and not share the chalk with anybody else. This chalk should be kept in their possession and not left in the gym. If you wish to remove chalk from your sessions, you should follow the guidelines as set out by British Gymnastics cleaning schedule. You would need to satisfy yourself that if you remove the use of chalk, gymnasts can still safely carry out the activity or find an alternative product. 

The use of hand apparatus under the Team Sport Framework - England
For clubs that are following the Team Sport Framework Action Plan for the identified disciplines and activities the below applies: 

Where hand-held equipment needs to be transferred for skill development or routine completion, clubs should ensure that the equipment is sanitised frequently and not shared between different groups.  

Gymnasts should wash or sanitise their hands regularly when sharing equipment in permitted activities. 

The use of props within festival/display groups should be avoided unless allocated specifically to individuals and not shared between or touched by multiple users. 

Gymnasts and coaches should be discouraged to touch their face, mouth, nose or eyes and practice good hand hygiene. 

For full information please refer to the Team Sport Framework page and Team Sport Framework FAQ’s.   

Under the local restriction tier system, under 18 team sport activities are permitted. Gymnastics activity for adults varies across each of the three tiers, please see ‘Can over 18’s/adults take part in gymnastics in the three tiers for local restrictions? (England Only) FAQ for more information.

24/11/2020 - What guidance do clubs need to follow when running soft play sessions?
The guidance organisations need to follow will differ depending on the type of session being delivered:

Structured and supervised adult & toddler style sessions are covered within the DCMS guidance and may proceed if deemed safe to do so following risk assessment and assessment of the capability to adhere to current guidance by all participants. It is recommended that participation be controlled allowing one adult to one child only for direct supervision. Where such sessions are taking place, a risk assessment should be conducted and subsequent control measures be put in place to meet all relevant hygiene and social distancing guidance. Consideration should be made to enforce advanced bookings only both to ensure venue maximum capacity is not breached and organisations can comply with keeping suitable records for NHS Test and Trace.

Unstructured sessions (sometimes referred to as “pay and play”) that are overseen by a supervising coach, where children are able to take part in activities involving soft play equipment are covered by British Gymnastics insurance but through definition the activity is classed as “indoor play”. For this activity to remain applicable within the DCMS guidance, at this time an appropriate control measure could be that a supervising adult should accompany each participant to ensure all relevant social distancing guidance is followed (as above). Ensure to consider all people within the facility when planning for overall capacity.

England only - Please note, indoor play centres, and areas including soft play must close under tier 3 local restrictions, therefore sessions where children under 5 and adults have free movement of the gymnastics space should not take place. This also includes ‘free play’ sessions for children of any age. 

Where play is unstructured and unsupervised (clubs are unable to follow the guidance above) reference should be made to the guidance liked below specific to these activities.

Unsupervised play activity – (Indoor play areas for children) 
This type of “soft play” activity is not included within the British Gymnastics recognised environment. The current DCMS guidance (Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) - Providers of grassroots sport and gym/leisure facilities) does not specifically apply to dedicated indoor play (including indoor soft play) facilities which may include activities and structures such as indoor play frames, dedicated soft play areas, or any unsupervised play activity.

For venues with a dedicated indoor play (including indoor soft play) area or running unstructured unsupervised play activity; Management should refer to the government guidance on the safe use of multi-purpose community facilities which points to the DfE guidance for out of school settings and guidance for play areas which points towards the BALPPA Indoor play areas for children operational guidance for soft play equipment for all relevant information.

England only - Please note, indoor play centres, and areas including soft play must close under tier 3 local restrictions. 
21/10/2020 - Does my National Governing Body need to sign off the club being able to reopen?
No British Gymnastics does not need to sign off clubs reopening. A 'reopening summary checklist & self-declaration template' can be found here to provide you with an overview of what needs to be in place before reopening. Further guidance can be found within the Step Forward Plan resources.

Local authorities may require sign off of plans and the local Health and Safety Executive (HSE) may require registration. Please check your local authorities requirement before reopening

Spot checks have been common place in other sectors and we’re seeing an increase in clubs reporting these have taken place. Please ensure you have documentation ready and available for spot checks by local authority organisations e.g. HSE/Environmental Health.  A list of common documentation (this is not exhaustive, and you may be asked for additional evidence) requested is:  

Cleaning procedures 
Cleaning products 
Face Coverings 
Signs and communication 
Class timetable 
Class numbers 
Entrance/exits systems 
Risk Assessments 
21/10/2020 - What guidance do clubs need to follow?
England 
With new restrictions being put into place and varying regulations across geographic areas, it is important that clubs seek up-to-date guidance from national government and local authorities to ensure compliance with Covid-19 regulations. 

DCMS - People who work in grass roots sport and gym/leisure facilities
Gymnastics clubs should follow the guidance issued for 'people who work in grass roots sport and gym/leisure facilities' by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). This contains all the relevant information to resume gymnastics activity safely. Within this guidance, reference is made to the guidance for 'Protective measures for out-of-school settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak' issued by the Department for Education (DfE). This makes specific reference to children taking part in indoor group activity and the group sizes stated are applicable to gymnastics clubs. Clubs offering gymnastics specific out of school provision and holiday clubs can do so without being Ofsted registered providing the children are aged 6 and above.

DfE - Protective measures for out-of-school settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak
Clubs offering gymnastics specific out of school provision and holiday clubs for children aged 5 and under, lasting for more than 4 hours must be Ofsted registered. If you are running out of school provision and holiday clubs that do not offer any indoor gymnastics activity e.g. arts and crafts only, please consult the DfE guidance and Ofsted

Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland clubs can find more information here on the guidance available. 

Wales
Welsh Government guidance can be found here.
05/10/2020 - What are the requirements relating to ventilation and heating during the coming winter months?
As the weather is getting colder, many clubs are concerned about how to keep their gymnasts, coaches, and staff members at a suitable temperature whilst still trying to create a source of natural ventilation to help minimise the spread of Covid-19.

Prior to use, we would encourage risk assessing the use of any ventilation and heating systems to ensure that the environment is suitable for the activities being performed. Heating systems may be required to keep your working environment within a safe temperature range and can be used where necessary.

Whilst there is no government guidance on the use of heaters and ventilation systems within sports facilities, we would encourage club managers to consider the following points within risk assessment:

Could you set timers on fan assisted heating systems to heat up any areas prior to gymnasts being in attendance and training taking place (to minimise the use of heating systems during sessions)?

How can you provide a source of fresh air ventilation between training sessions?

Can you maintain a source of fresh air ventilation by opening a window or door (as this is most effective known method of clearing microdroplet airborne particles created when someone coughs, sneezes or shouts)?

What are the manufacturers guidelines on the best use of the heating or ventilation system to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Can air conditioning systems be adjusted to ensure a fresh air supply

Have you (in the absence of known ventilation rates), considered a carbon dioxide sensor to be used as a surrogate indicator to switch on additional mechanical ventilation or open windows.

If making any changes that could have an impact on your risk assessment, consider how to minimise further risks, such as leaving the door open which makes the floor wet and potentially slippery.

Health and Safety legislation indicates that an employer must maintain a reasonable temperature in a workplace. There is a minimum temperature of 16°C (or 13°C if the work involves considerable physical activity).

We encourage clubs to familiarise themselves with section 5 of the Working Safely during Coronavirus Covid-19 guidance which specifically covers ventilation

If you need any further bespoke advice, please contact Agility Risk and Compliance for further support; Tel: 01527 571612 or Email: [email protected].
29/07/2020 - How many people are allowed in the venue at any one time?

Due to clubs operating in different environments, variances in equipment and sizes, British Gymnastics are unable to define the maximum capacity for clubs. To ensure clubs can operate effectively within their own environments they will need to define the maximum capacity that can reasonably follow social distancing at the venue.

Capacity numbers for dedicated facilities:
The maximum occupancy of each indoor facility should be limited by providing a minimum of 100sqft per person, taking into account total indoor and outdoor space, specific venue characteristics such as equipment as well as likely pinch points and busy areas. It should be based on the government requirement for social distancing, the nature of activities (i.e. if the activity is static vs. requiring a range of movement) and equipment layout and the configuration of facilities.

Particular attention should be given to ventilation (see DCMS guidance for more information) and sufficient circulation space specially around equipment and between groups and coaches. Ventilation systems should provide 100% fresh air and not recirculate air from one space to another. It is up to the club to determine how much socially distanced space is provided per gymnast for their activity as long as it does not go under current government guidelines for social distancing e.g. you may decide to operate on 2m by 2m area for each gymnast or potentially expand this to 3m by 3m per gymnast.

Clubs will need to conduct a specific risk assessment for each facility and the proposed activities to identify the number of individuals that can reasonably follow social distancing within the facility, taking into account total space, equipment as well as likely constraints (toilets, locker areas, changing rooms and washrooms) and pinch points.

Individual groups should be no larger than a group of 15 gymnasts plus coaches. British Gymnastics gymnast to coach/teacher ratios and safeguarding policies should be adhered to at all times. Multiple groups of 15 are allowed within a venue, ensuring social distancing is in place and maximum capacity of the venue is not exceeded. Where possible coaches and gymnasts should remain with the same group to reduce the risk of transmission.

Capacity numbers for non-dedicated facilities:
Clubs who operate within a space that is managed by an external provider e.g. leisure centre/school hall, will need to speak to the venue regarding total capacity available and the capacity available within hired gymnastics space e.g. a badminton court. Clubs will need to take into consideration equipment being used when defining their maximum capacity and conduct a specific risk assessment for the available space and the proposed activities to identify the number of individuals that can reasonably follow social distancing within the space. 

Individual groups should be no larger than a group of 15 gymnasts plus coaches. It is up to the club to determine how much socially distanced space is provided per gymnast for their activity as long as it does not go below current government guidelines for social distancing e.g. you may decide to operate on 2m by 2m area for each gymnast or potentially expand this to 3m by 3m per gymnast.

British Gymnastics gymnast to coach/teacher ratios and safeguarding policies should be adhered to at all times. Multiple groups of 15 are allowed within the space available to gymnastics ensuring social distancing is in place and maximum capacity of the venue is not exceeded. Where possible coaches and gymnasts should remain with the same group to reduce the risk of transmission.
If your club (dedicated or non-dedicated) is registered with Ofsted on either the compulsory or voluntary childcare register providing childcare to children aged 5 and under, you no longer have to keep consistent small group sizes and can resume normal group sizes. This applies specifically to those participants aged 5 and under providing those aged 5 and under are restricted from mixing with any children aged 6 and over (for whom DCMS guidance remains applicable) within the childcare setting.

Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland clubs can find more information here on the guidance available.

15/07/2020 - Is 'bubbling' allowed within sessions? Are fixed groups required?
The guidance states that social distance regulations must be maintained therefore ‘bubbling’ or close contact is not permitted within groups unless gymnasts are from the same household. The guidance encourages fixed groups to be maintained throughout the session.

These groups will be required to remain in their working group for a fixed duration of time, i.e. monthly/half termly/termly. Working within a fixed group will help you to contain any outbreaks within your club. It is recommended that coaches remain with their fixed group and cannot exceed more than 15 participants. Please note that even when working in your fixed group, you will need to maintain the current guidelines for social distancing.
15/07/2020 - Are coaches able to spot/support gymnasts?

Social distancing must be adhered to at all times and no contact is permitted between coaches and gymnasts, or gymnasts and gymnasts until the relevant government remove/review social distancing. 

Activity planned and delivered should be appropriate for socially distanced coaching and no close spotting/supporting is permitted under the current guidelines. Download your social distance coaching tips here.

15/07/2020 - Use of Thermometers - Are clubs allowed to test the temperature of staff or gymnasts as part of their control measures, and is this a suitable control measure?

Currently, temperature checking/use of thermometers is not a legal requirement but is an additional control measure to reduce the risk of transmission within the venue. Clubs may want to include as part of their control measures as a result of their risk assessment whilst taking the following into account:

Take temperature prior to entry to the venue, be aware that a person’s temperature may be slightly elevated as they get to the vicinity depending on how they got there, i.e. cycle, walked a distance etc.  
Test both adults and children - a temperature of above 37.9 degrees is a high temperature.
Remember that temperature checking is not a way to prevent the coronavirus but may alert personnel on site that someone is displaying symptoms (elevated temperature). 
Ensure a process is put in place if symptoms are displayed and this is communicated with your members
British Gymnastics recommend that anyone displaying any symptoms should not enter the venue.

15/07/2020 - Should gymnasts wear face masks/PPE during their sessions?

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 can wear masks whilst not on apparatus, between time in apparatus, if they so wish, but masks should not be worn whilst on equipment or performing any form of gymnastics elements, including warm ups/cool downs.

Wales
All over 11’s are required to wear face coverings indoors until they are participating in exercise or strenuous activities.

15/07/2020 - Should coaches wear Face Masks/PPE throughout their session? If coaches are wearing PPE can they support gymnasts?

DCMS guidance does not make it compulsory for coaches to wear a mask/face covering, but coaches can choose to wear one following recent Government guidance around wearing them in shops and enclosed spaces. 

Coaches should adhere to social distancing guidelines, therefore would not need PPE. PPE would be recommended for cleaning and first aid purposes and this should be with a fluid repellent mask, gloves and aprons.

Social distancing must always be adhered to and no contact is permitted between coaches and gymnasts, or gymnasts and gymnasts until the government remove/review social distancing requirements even whilst wearing PPE.

Activity delivered should be appropriate for socially distanced coaching and no close spotting/supporting is permitted under the current guidelines. Download your social distance coaching tips here.

15/07/2020 - 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 club’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 requirement 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.

More information is available in the cleaning guidance.

15/07/2020 - Should coaches remain with the same group for the whole session or can they rotate?

Where possible coaches and gymnasts should remain with the same group to limit the risk of transmission.

As far as possible, where workers are split into teams or shift groups, they should remain in those groups to limit contact and therefore limit the risk of transmission. 

15/07/2020 - How often should hand sanitisation take place?
It is good practice to have hand sanitizing stations around the gym so that gymnasts and coaches can keep up good hand hygiene. The number of stations is dependant 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 sanitizing stations at entry and exit points. Where possible, gymnasts should use their own hand sanitiser.
15/07/2020 - Is it a requirement to have a COVID-19 Officer?
Each club 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.

Wales
As per the Welsh Government’s return to indoor sport regulations, all clubs are required to nominate a Covid Officer. They should keep up to date with legislation and ensure Covid Safe protocols are adhered too at all times
15/07/2020 - What are the clubs’ responsibilities under the Test and Trace system?
England
The club has a responsibility to maintain registers of staff and members who are in the facility and a note of the date and time they have been in the facility. If somebody who has been in your facility tests positive for Covid-19, the NHS test and trace may ask the infected person or their carer to provide details of anyone they have been in contact with. These registers will assist in this process. It is also important that the club has updated its privacy policy to make parents/guardians and carers aware, that the club may have to provide personal details (names and 2 types of contact numbers) of members to the NHS test and trace if they request it. GDPR information and FAQS can be found here.

It is now a legal requirement for all venues in England to display the official NHS QR code poster. 

For clubs in hired venues, it is our understanding that it is the responsibility of the venue operator to display the NHS QR code, and you must liaise with them.   

For clubs operating in their own venues, please visit the government coronavirus guidance website to register your details and create a specific NHS QR code poster for your facility. 

Wales
The club has a responsibility to maintain registers of staff and members who are in the facility and a note of the date and time they have been in the facility. If somebody who has been in your facility tests positive for Covid-19, the PHA Test, Trace and Protect may ask the infected person or their carer to provide details of anyone they have been in contact with. These registers will assist in this process. It is also important that the club has updated its privacy policy to make parents/guardians and carers aware, that the club may have to provide personal details (names and 2 types of contact numbers) of members to the PHW Test, Trace and Protect trace if they request it.

Northern Ireland

The club has a responsibility to maintain registers of staff and members who are in the facility and a note of the date and time they have been in the facility. If somebody who has been in your facility tests positive for Covid-19, the PHA Test, Trace and Protect may ask the infected person or their carer to provide details of anyone they have been in contact with. These registers will assist in this process. It is also important that the club has updated its privacy policy to make parents/guardians and carers aware, that the club may have to provide personal details (names and 2 types of contact numbers) of members to the PHA Test, Trace and Protect trace if they request it. GDPR information and FAQS can be found here
15/07/2020 - Should participants also be washing their feet before, during, after sessions?
It is good practice for gymnasts to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer on a regular basis throughout the session. This can be before and after using equipment. Feet do not carry the same level of risk as hands, so foot hygiene is not as necessary as hand hygiene. However, it may be good practice to wear gym shoes or suitable foot coverings as long as they can be washed between each session. The footwear should be appropriate for training.
09/10/2020 - What to do if someone contracts COVID-19?

Should a known Covid-19 case or someone becomes unwell in the training environment or an individual has be identified as a contact of a known case the individual/s in question should be placed in isolation and follow the relevant home country health authority guidelines. The welfare officer and the person responsible for Covid-19 should be immediately informed. Instances must be notified immediately to the local Health Protection Unit (or home country equivalent). Anybody displaying symptoms or anybody who has been in contact with an infected person, should be advised not to return to the gym until they have been tested and followed the guidance set out by the NHS.

If there is more than one case, this should be reported to your local public health service as a suspected outbreak. More information can be found in the Step Forward Toolkit. 

Templates and resources including a flow chart on what to do if a suspected or positive case is reported at your club and information on how to record this is available in the Step Forward People Guide.

15/07/2020 - What are the regulations for groups who may struggle with adhering to social distancing e.g. preschool participants/participants with certain disabilities?

Social distancing should be maintained between all users of facilities including individuals, groups, teams, teachers, trainers and coaches unless users come from the same household or to manage needs on account of a disability when additional mitigation will be essential.

You may need to consider suspending or modifying activities that are not permitted or cannot be undertaken without contravening social distancing guidelines within available facilities. Modifications could include:

Preschool
Within Preschool sessions, you may require parents or carers take part in the activity.  Factor this into your activity, space and equipment planning and ensure that you amend your ratios accordingly to meet the government guidelines for groups. 

Inclusive 
Gymnasts may require a carer to support them in their sessions.  If this is the case, you must ensure they are considered when planning your activity, the space being used and the impact on your ratios.   
If carers are within the session, ensure they are also aware of the safety and social distancing measures that you have in place. These would include procedures for safely arriving and leaving the gym and moving around the space. 
Some gymnasts may have a Personal Evacuation Plan in the event of emergencies.  Ensure you update this in line with any changes you have made to your venue and procedures.

15/07/2020 - Will British Gymnastics require coaches to undergo specific COVID-19 Training?

Our Health and Safety experts Agility have said that there is currently no requirement for clubs to complete a COVID-19 training course. This may change if the government deems it a requirement. There are a number of course providers that are offering the course therefore it would be a personal choice if the club choose to complete the course. 

It is recommended that coaches are kept abreast with government guidance and understand the requirements outlined by the government.   It is also recommended that you keep updated with the government guidelines.  Staff should also understand the requirements outlined under social distancing, cleaning processes and what to do if someone displays any symptoms through an induction on returning to working. 

You can also read the Government guidelines on Covid-19 to keep up to date on all the latest guidance. This can be found on your home countries government website.

England
Northern Ireland

Wales
Welsh Government promote the Welsh Sports Association Covid Awareness training for the sport and leisure sector: https://wsa.wales/covid-19-awareness-training-for-the-sports-and-recreation-sector/
09/10/2020 - Can parents watch/view their child’s session?
Where possible attendance by spectators (parents watching their child’s session) and non-participating children should be avoided and minimised, especially within indoor facilities. If your club allows spectators, you must consider the following aspects: 

Processes should be in place to carefully control numbers. 
You must ensure current government guidelines are being observed including encouraging the wearing of facemasks in enclosed public spaces where social distancing is difficult to maintain e.g. corridors. 
Social distancing must be in place and people should not visit the club socially in groups of more than six. 
Suitable management and record keeping to comply with NHS Test & Trace. 

In addition, parents and guardians should be discouraged from gathering in groups inside or outside the premises, including before and after classes. 

Maintain your “open viewing policy” creatively (using technology or developing robust communications plans) to ensure parents and guardians are kept well informed. 
09/10/2020 - Can a foam pit be used?
It is currently not understood how high the Covid-19 risk is when using foam pits, or the scale that foam can transmit the virus, and therefore we are not recommending the use of foam pits at this time.

To continue to enable to use space/equipment in pitted areas, clubs can cover the pit with wipeable mats to perform safe landings and must ensure there is sufficient matting in place to avoid contact with the foam. In addition, make sure to pad exit routes so that gymnasts do not enter the foam to move around the work area.

We have allowed the limited use of foam pits at Lilleshall National Sports Centre for the elite gymnasts within the Performance Programme. This is continually closely managed throughout the Covid-secure bubble currently in place at this facility and the Covid-19 Return to Training programme the elite gymnasts are currently working within.
09/10/2020 - Can holiday clubs still run?
Gymnastics specific holiday clubs/activities can continue to be provided as long as they are delivered in line with the guidance set out within the Step Forward Plan and by the DCMS.

If you are running holiday clubs that do not offer any indoor gymnastics activity e.g. arts and crafts only, please consult the DfE guidance.

Those attending holiday clubs can bring their own refreshments as long as communal areas comply with all current guidance including social distancing. Any areas used as part of the holiday club must not exceed capacity at any given time. Hand sanitiser should be used at all breaks in training and before and after consuming any food or drinks. Food and drink must not be shared, including their containers/bottles.

If facilities include a shop, café, or provision to sell food and drink, clubs should consult and follow the government guidance on hospitality settings.
 
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