Wednesday, December 22, 2021

COVID-19 Guidance Statement - 22 December 2021

In light of additional restrictions being brought in by the Scottish Government and additional guidance from sportscotland, it is necessary for Scottish Swimming to issue an updated guidance statement to reflect these new changes. These changes will take effect from the 26th December 2021 and will run through to the 16th January 2022 or until otherwise advised, and are detailed below:

Physical Distancing

Sporting facilities will now require to have 1m physical distancing measures in place from the 26th December 2021. This applies to everyone using the facility. The 1m physical distancing message should be regularly promoted to all members when within the facility. This includes in the Changing & toilet areas, general circulation areas and on poolside. Clustering indoors should be avoided and capacities in facility areas should be adhered to. Sporting activity information is as follows:

Indoor Contact Sport

Indoor contact sport for athletes aged 18 years and over is not permitted from 26th December 2021. 1m physical distancing must be in place during the session. Technical skills can still be performed so long as 1m spacing is in place, but no game play or contact skills in Water Polo or routines and contact skills in Artistic Swimming will be possible. Where under 18s and 18+ athletes are mixing in a session, all athletes are considered as 18+ and non-contact protocols apply, thus physical distancing in the activity must be incorporated. It is recommended that under 18s should also physically distance during sessions where at all possible.

Indoor Non-Contact Sport

Indoor non-contact sport for athletes aged 18 years and over is permitted. 1m physical distancing must be in place during the session. Where under 18s and 18+ athletes are mixing in a session, all athletes are considered as 18+ and non-contact protocols apply, thus 1m physical distancing in the activity (within lanes) must be incorporated. It is recommended that under 18s should also physically distance during sessions where at all possible.

Indoor Events

There is a restriction on the number of people able to take part in an indoor event from the 26th December through to the 16th January 2022 or until otherwise advised. Indoor aquatics events are limited to 200 participants and everyone must be seated when not taking part in the sporting activity. It is possible to operate separate bubbles of 200 participants within a day, but there must be no participant cross over between groups.

The participant number includes athletes and spectators. However, providing the opportunity for the maximum number of athletes at the event within the space and building capacities allowed should be prioritised. It is recommended that no spectating is currently allowed at events. The participant number does not include Technical Officials and Team Staff, but numbers for both of these groups should be kept to a minimum where at all possible. In all areas of the facility and during the sporting activity 1m physical distancing must be adhered to.

Outdoor Events

There is also a restriction on the number of people able to take part in an outdoor event from the 26th December. Outdoor aquatics events are limited to 500 participants. The participant number includes athletes and spectators. It is recommended that no spectating currently takes place at events to maximise athlete numbers. 1m physical distancing must be adhered to before, during and after the sporting activity. It is possible to operate separate bubbles of 500 participants within a day, but there must be no participant cross over between groups.

Message from Scottish Government - Stay Home, Stay Safe

For the three-week period, Scottish Government advises that people stay at home as much as possible, keep contacts to a minimum; and keep New Year gatherings as small as your family circumstances allow.  Further Scottish Government guidance is available at Coronavirus in Scotland - gov.scot.

The remainder of the ‘beyond Level 0’ guidance which was published in September for both club training and competitions is still valid and in place. Currently there are no further changes that are required for aquatics clubs but there are a few key considerations which require to be highlighted:

Testing

Clubs should encourage athletes and team staff to take a lateral flow test (LFD) before participating in a club activity. Results do not need to be submitted to the club. If a member returns a positive LFD then they should follow the Scottish Government guidance and take a PCR test as soon as possible. Anyone feeling unwell should not attend a sporting venue or activity.

People who are symptomatic, feeling unwell or identified as close contacts should follow Scottish Government and NHS guidance on self-isolation available at Scottish Government: Test & Protect. No one who is self-isolating should attend a sports facility or activity.    

Face Coverings

Face coverings must be worn by all athletes (12 & Over) and team staff while indoors. This includes when moving around the facility, in the toilets, changing areas and general circulation areas. Exemptions on the basis of medical conditions and disabilities are allowed. Athletes do not have to wear a face covering during the sporting activity.

Hygiene Practices

Everyone attending club activities should be encouraged to regularly wash their hands or use hand sanitiser. Clubs should also ensure surfaces and equipment are regularly cleaned and sanitised appropriately in line with facility protocols.

Liaise with Facility Management

Clubs should continue to liaise with their facility management to ensure any changes to operating procedures, entry & exit to the venue, building capacities and any new restrictions/changes are incorporated into the club processes.

Risk Assessments

Risk assessments should be reviewed regularly, updated if/when required, to ensure they are still relevant for the club activities and information is communicated appropriately.

Useful Links

Scottish Swimming ‘Beyond Level 0’ Club training and competition guidance HERE

sportscotland Return to Sport & Physical Activity guidance HERE