For CV-19 reopening dates across the UK and Ireland click here

Position statement regarding club and lifesaving activity following Government amended COVID-19 regulations post March 2021

On the 22 February 2021, The UK Government release their roadmap out of the third CV-19 lockdown. Subsequently home nation and Irish Governments have released national guidance.

The positive news is there is a way forward and although for many, this won’t come quick enough it provides individuals involved in lifesaving activity with hope. Our ultimate aim is to do whatever we can to contribute to pools reopening as soon as practically possible, protecting the public and especially members but being ready.

The initial opportunity, as we wait for indoor pool infrastructure to open is to explore lifesaving activity outdoors either in or out of the water. It would be amiss off RLSS UK not to ask clubs and instructors to consider the current environment and water temperature. Open Water sessions must be led and overseen by an RLSS UK qualified trainer or instructor with an open water endorsement and must follow RLSS UK Guidance for organising open water training and assessment. It will be some months before outdoor water temperature is comfortable for most so please proceed with caution and make sure your risk assessments and measure firmly in place.

Pool activity for clubs across the different nations does differ and at the time of writing Wales, Ireland and Northern Ireland have yet to release a confirmed date for pool and subsequently club activity.

Currently pools are due to open in England on 12 April and this includes the potential for clubs to run activities for children under 18-years (those who have turned 18-years since 31 August 2020 are classed as under 18-years). Indoor lifesaving activity for those 18-years and over can commence, in England 17 May at the earliest. Indoor pools are due to open in Scotland on 26 April and club activity for activity for under 18s can start but club activity for 18-years and over cannot start until 17 May at the earliest. In Scotland 18-years refers to the day they turn 18.

To clarify exercise classes, organised sport or outdoor physical activity/sport remains exempt from the rules limiting people to meet in limited groups, unless stated. For instance, in Scotland outdoor activity is currently limited to 15 people. Therefore, outdoor lifesaving activity can continue in line with your own established COVID-19 risk assessment following local advice and RLSS UK Guidance.

What do I need to do now?

To comply with government guidance clubs/instructors should review their risk assessment and talk to your owner and operator to ensure that you are complying with their own operating procedures, especially considering the movement of members/candidates in and out of sessions.

It is ultimately the decision of the facility operator to communicate when lifesaving/club activity can return so please be mindful that activity may not be able to restart immediately as restrictions ease.

RLSS UK Club and Lifesaving Guidance

This RLSS UK Guidance for Operating a Lifesaving Club During COVID-19 is to provide support to Lifesaving Clubs and Lifesaving Instructors, whilst they continue their vital work.

The original document was launched on 10 July 2020 following a period of consultation and a hosted webinar on 02 July, click here to watch the webinar and read the Q&As linked to this document.

The guidance details adjustments that should be made to how the club is run, as well as a sample a risk assessment and details on cleaning equipment and using PPE. The guidance is not exhaustive and further guidance may be sort from other organisations.

Please note this is an ever changing environment and guidance will be updated regularly following changes from the government. It is important that you ensure you have the most recent version, which can be found here. changes and version history is listed below.

Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us by e-mail [email protected] or 0300 3230 096.

Click here to download RLSS UK Guidance for Operating a Lifesaving Club During COVID-19

Click here to download the Sample Risk Assessment form for Clubs and Lifesaving Instructors

Click here to download the sample additional information to be signed by members/candidates

14/09/2020 – Version 1.1 includes:

  • Position statement following updating September Government Guidance
  • The use of face coverings
  • Clarity on the use of face coverings and gloves
  • An alternative to wearing gloves for training and assessment
  • A refinement to the guidance for use of casualties
  • Signposting to specific guidance on open water practical/rescue training
  • The requirement of face masks has been added to the SAMPLE Additional information for Course/Assessment Enrolment Form

29/09/2020 – Version 1.2 includes:

  • Links to devolved government guidance added to page 2
  • Update to position statement on page 3