Saturday, March 27, 2021

Update on latest guidance documents

It has been over a week since the First Minister set out the timetable for the easing of restrictions in Scotland and by now, we had hoped to have our updated Back to the Water guidance documents approved and published. Unfortunately, this is not the case, and we very much share the frustrations of the membership. The delay is down to the process we must follow when any new announcement is made, which impacts on these guidance documents being shared:

  1. The First Minister makes her announcement to the Scottish Parliament on a Tuesday afternoon. This is the first time that Sports Governing Bodies and sportscotland hear the content of the announcement
  2. The details of the announcement go through a legislative process before guidance is issued from the Scottish Government to each of the different sectors
  3. sportscotland are issued with the generic guidance for sport
  4. This guidance then goes through points of clarity and understanding (for example, does the term ‘gyms’ also refer to ‘swimming pools’) before being issued to individual sports
  5. Sports Governing Bodies then interpret and produce/update specific guidance for aquatics
  6. This guidance then needs to be checked and approved by sportscotland/Scottish Government before it can be issued.

The guidance for sport in general has still to be shared with sportscotland by the Scottish Government. As a result, the only guidance we have been given the go-ahead to publish are the supporting details around Open Water Swimming.

We know that a number pool operators and leisure centres are now working towards the date of 26 April for their reopening; however, we are still awaiting clarification on a number of fundamental points and dates relating to other changes, including group indoor training and exercise, and training for the over 18s. We are working closely with sportscotland on a daily basis to secure the guidance as a matter of urgency.

Thank you for your continued patience.