Frequently Asked Questions about Re-opening Indoors


What date can Northwood Gymnastics repen inside?
The UK Government have announced that clubs in England can reopen on Monday 12th April, 2021, following the DCMS guidelines for social distancing and hygiene.


How many people allowed in the Venue at 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 a 3m by 3m area.

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.

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 a 3m by 3m area.

British Gymnastics coach:gymnast 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.


Is Bubbling allowed in a session?

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.


Can Gymnasts work in Pairs or Groups?

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, 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.


Are Coaches able to support/spot 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.


How often is Equipment 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. Clearing 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.

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


Gymnasts will not being sharing hand held equipment

Gymnasts will bring their own mats to the session


Northwood Gymnastics will have a competent person - The Head Coach - who is responsible for ensuring there are measures in place to mitigate the risk of Covid-19 within the club. . They are responsible for ensuring the risk assessment is carried out and the control measures are in place and being adhered to.


Test and Trace

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.


Gymnasts will need to be bear foot indoors

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.


What Northwood Gymnastics will 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.

All known cases need to be reported to RIDDOR and British Gymnastics. More information can be found in the Step Forward Toolkit.


Any questions we have not covered please

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