Position statement regarding club and lifesaving activity following Government amended COVID-19 regulations (22 September 2020)

We are delighted to inform you, that, at the present time, indoor lifesaving activity for those 18-years and under is unaffected by the recent update on coronavirus (COVID-19) measures.

As you will be aware, on 22 September, the UK government made changes to their guidance, further restricting some activity to tackle an uplift in COVID-19 infections. The announcement we were all carefully watching was that “Indoor organised sport for over 18’s will no longer be exempt from the rule of six.” We can confirm that club activity and lifesaving lessons for those 18-years and under, can continue. We do however advise clubs and instructors, as best practice, to think about limiting their activity and wherever possible consider preparing activities for those 18-years and under to smaller bubbles of 6 within your larger group. 

What happens to lifesaving activity to those over 18?

Whereas the guidance for those 18-years and under is clear, the guidance for lifesavers over 18-years, is less explicit and we have been seeking further clarity. Within government guidance “Organised indoor sport or exercise classes can take place in larger numbers, provided groups of 6 do not mix”. Therefore, activity for over 18-years can also continue - providing groups sizes do not exceed 6, this includes the trainer/instructor or coach.

What do I need to do now?

In order to comply with government guidance to accommodate activity for those over 18-years, clubs/instructors should review their risk assessment and talk to your owner and operator to ensure that members/candidates are not meeting in groups of 6, and to ensure groups of 6 are not mixing. This includes groups of lifesavers within your session.

There is no guidance to distinguish adult and child groups so, mixed groups can continue as normal - as long as they are following RLSS UK safeguarding guidelines.

Further clarification

It is important to clarify that “elite sporting competition and training” is also exempt from the rule so any competitive planned lifesaving activity can continue in line with your risk assessment.

To clarify exercise classes, organised outdoor sport or licensed outdoor physical activity remains exempt from the rules limiting people to meet in groups of 6. Therefore, outdoor lifesaving activity can continue in line with your own established COVID-19 risk assessment following local advice and RLSS UK Guidance.

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