Tuesday 17 March 2020

Following a UK Government Emergency COBRA meeting on 16 March, PM Boris Johnson announced that increased measures have been put in place to delay the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus).

The first thing to recognise, is that clubs are autonomous bodies with their own management team, constitution and hire agreements. This document is designed to provide clubs with guidance to manage their personal response to COVID-19 and is not a mandated position.

Club members’ welfare and containing the spread of the virus should be the number one consideration however, it is also important for clubs to consider their sustainable future. Many clubs have been providing priceless training and a lifesaving community service for many years; it is crucial that the management of the response to the virus secures these vital operations for years to come, and a club isn’t seriously impacted by financial ramifications. Financial contracts are a delicate matter but need to be an important part of these discussions.

Until the UK Government changes its advice regarding children’s activities (including school) or until a venue closes, we offer this advice to aid decision making:

  • Based on the government guidance in relation to social distancing, it is advisable to consider your role in postponing activity until government guidance changes.
  • If you are in a rolling financial contract with an operator, discuss the opportunity to have a payment holiday or to relax contractual arrangements. If the government releases a firmer stance on mandating children’s activities, then you will be prepared.
  • Open discussions with members and parents about coming to an agreement in relation to continuing payment of fees, to help the club get through this difficult time.
  • If the club can manage costs, then discuss and consider your approach. If the decision is to cancel club activity, most sports have set an initial date of 1 April for review.

If the club does decide to continue to operate:

  • PWTAG advise that it is generally safe swimming at this time https://www.pwtag.org/novel-coronavirus-covid-19-latest-information-2/.
  • Clubs must follow advice on personal hygiene and members should be encouraged to shower more often.
  • Clubs should consider postponing dry sessions.
  • Avoiding sharing equipment between candidates, if it is passed around then it should be cleaned after use.
  • Thoroughly clean any equipment at the end of every session, with products recommended as effective against the spread of COVID-19.
  • Avoid any contact and allow each candidate to have a personal one metre zone, this includes not practising any contact tows.
  • Anybody showing symptoms, in line with government advice, should self-isolate and should not be attending sessions.
  • Any mass gatherings, eg competitions, festivals etc should be postponed until further notice