Following the latest Government announcements in mid October, we have been provided with clarification from UKactive that our primary activity offerings remain unaffected by local Tier 1, 2 & 3 restrictions at a government baseline level. Acknowledging that the leisure sector already has strong Covid Secure measures in place, attendance to the gym, swimming pool, exercise classes and other activities will continue as they have been under the new normal. There may be some local government decisions based on specific criteria, but at this stage all areas having gone into Tier 3 have recognised the importance of physical activity to their communities and kept access to leisure open.
You will have noticed by following this guidance that a few things are different to ‘normal’, but these are all in place to ensure that we deliver the sessions as smoothly as possible, keep you distanced from others and maintain hygiene as a top priority. Below we have listed some key actions that our teams and venues are adhering to, alongside the Government approved UKactive Fit Together Covid 19 guidance:
1) All sessions must be booked in advance, so that we can manage numbers of people in our building and maintain safe social distancing. To pre-book your visit log into https://ma.activenation.org.uk/ if you need help with your login details just email us at email@example.com and we’ll be happy to help.
2) Our teams have received all of the necessary training and new ways of working to ensure that your experience remains enjoyable and safe. However, if you have or may have any COVID 19 symptoms (new or continuous cough, high temperature, loss of taste or smell) please do not risk spreading the virus by attending your activity.
3) Our venue layouts may have been adjusted to ensure that our facilities apply to social distancing rules, for example some classes may be in different rooms, gym equipment may be spaced more than usual, and occupancy levels set much lower to allow for more spacing. Signage will guide you around the venues.
4) We have put in place new and heightened safety and hygiene protocols. New specialist cleaning chemicals and regimes have been implemented to take extra precautions.
5) Our activity programmes have been adjusted to ensure that we can maximise the number of sessions within our opening hours and the flow of people in and out of the building:
(a) 45 minute Exercise classes that can be booked up to 8 days in advance through our App and Supporter Portal.
(b) 75 minute Gym sessions can be pre-booked up to 2 days in advance through our App and Supporter Portal.
(c) 60 minute Lane Swimming sessions can be pre-booked up to 2 days in advance through our App and Supporter Portal. This timing includes a 45 minute swim, with 15 minutes to enter and exit the building.
(d) Badminton bookings are 60 minute slots, which allocates 50 minutes on court and 10 minutes to enter and exit the building.
(e) We will be gradually opening up other activities on a local venue by venue basis, more detail of which will be listed on local Facebook pages for each venue.
6) Our changing facilities are slightly different. Specific venues will have specific arrangements in place but in all cases we ask that you arrive pre-dressed for your activity and follow the instructions provided as you enter for your post activity changing provision.
To help keep you informed on any other questions you may have, below we have compiled a series of frequently asked questions to provide you with all the relevant information you need:
Our swimming pools are now open in line with Government and Swim England’s guidance under our phased new operating procedures with the necessary social distancing and safety measures in place to provide you with a safe, clean and comfortable environment to visit.
Opening times are reduced slightly to begin with, but will be growing each week as we evaluate attendance. Timetables are available on our website and through our app.
We are operating a ‘double lane’ arrangement in all pools to provide more space between swimmers – with a combination of fast, medium and slow lanes with a maximum occupancy of 10 swimmers per double lane.
At the advice of Government, sauna and steam rooms and bubble pools remain closed until further notice.
We are offering swimming in pre-booked slots (bookable in advance through our Active Nation App and Supporter Portal) this time slot will include time to access, change and exit from the venue safely.
We are encouraging supporters to come ‘beach ready’, with swim wear worn under clothing, to minimise time spent in our changing areas. The changing rooms, where possible, will operate on a one-way system to minimise contact with other swimmers. Showers and toilets will be accessible but hand and hair dryers will not be available to use. Initially lockers will also remain unusable and a storage system will be put in their place.
The government guidance does require you to pre-book your attendance at our venues in advance so that we can easily track occupancy and report ‘test and trace data to local authorities.
Using our App and online supporter portal you can book sessions up to 2 days in advance for Gym and Swim, and 8 days in advance for exercise classes.
Gym sessions are pre-booked for 75 minute slots, which allocates 60 minutes to workout and 15 minutes to enter and exit the building.
Exercise classes are 45 minute sessions.
Swimming is a 45 minute swim and an additional 15 minutes to change and enter/exit the building.
Current government guidance is still that you are not required to wear a mask during exercise. Whilst our venues have stricter than usual spacing and air circulation per person, we are now recommending that you wear a face covering in the indoor public circulation areas such as reception, corridors and any spectator areas. Of course, social distancing and avoiding visiting the venue if you have any COVID symptoms remains critical, and we hope you will see the sense in adhering to this request to protect others and yourself with a suitable face covering.
UKactive and Government guidance has now changed as of 3rd September to allow you to bring a sweat towel with you for a workout. However, as before, please try to keep all other personal belongings to a minimum whilst in our venues.
Sweat does not transmit Covid-19, and our venues are specifically treated with chemicals to eliminate any surface germs.
On 20th July you will have received an email from Active Nation confirming that your membership will have resumed from 25th July 2020, giving you full access to our gym, swimming and classes. This gave you the remainder of July for free, without payment required, with your normal monthly payment resuming on 1st August via Direct Debit at the previous usual amount.
If however, you do not feel able to return to the gym just yet, you will be able to freeze your membership for an additional month by visiting the online supporter portal at https://ma.activenation.org.uk/ and using the ‘My Details’ freeze membership tab.
Alternatively, if you feel that you wanted to cancel your membership entirely, you can do this by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
If you pre-paid for a 12 month membership in advance, your membership was automatically been frozen during our closure period, so therefore if you had 30 days remaining on your membership at our point of closure, you would still have has 30 days remaining when we re-opened on 25th July.
On Monday 20th July, supporters with a registered email address in our database will have received an email notifying them of the restarting date of their direct debit membership, or the extension of our their annual membership to cover the time missed during our closure.
Below is a copy of those two emails sent out:
At the moment we are keeping our exercise changing rooms and lockers closed. So therefore we are asking our supporters to arrived pre-dressed to workout and then shower at home after your workout.
For swimmers, we have organised our changing facilities to enable a shower and private space to get dressed afterwards. However, we ask that you arrive ‘swim ready’ as the changing rooms are for only post activity at present.
If you or your child has swimming lessons at any of our venue’s, we will be sending you further information on the re-commencement of your lessons soon. The swimming lesson programme will resume on 3rd October. We will not be taking payments in relation to swimming lesson subscriptions until further notice.
However, during September we will be running some ‘back to water’ crash course sessions, which you can book and pay for separately away from your normal lesson programme.
Supporters can be reassured that we are following all the available advice from the government and Swim England regarding safety and hygiene in our swimming pools.
The new rules around swim lessons include:
1) The ‘Learn to Swim’ programme will run with fewer lessons in the pool at one time to allow for both our swimmers and swimming teachers to meet the Government and Swim England’s social distancing guidelines, this may result is some changes to previous times that were available for supporters.
2) Our lesson times will be staggered, so there will be fewer classes starting and finishing at the same time.
3) No other aquatic activities will take place in the pool whilst our lessons are on. This will create the additional space that will be required to accommodate lessons and maintain social distancing requirements.
4) On arriving, there will be a one-way system in place, directing you and your child to the lesson; there are no lockers available at this time and we ask you wash your hands or use hand gel as you enter.
5) Only one parent should attend with a child, to reduce the number of people in the venue. Spectating space will be limited by social distancing, so it may be preferable to wait in your car whilst the lesson is in progress and re-enter the venue just before the finish of the lesson.
6) Swimmers will be required to attend lessons readily ready-changed in their costumes. This will avoid the need to use the changing rooms prior to the lesson starting. However, Changing facilities, showers and toilets will be available for after the lesson.
7) Swim Teachers will be required to teach from the poolside and maintain social distancing from swimmers at all times
8) Parents may be asked to attend lessons in the water with younger children (only one parent, per child)
9) All teaching aids will be sanitised by the pool water
Along with the rules that many businesses nationwide have implemented, to begin with our venues will be ‘cashless’. We have introduced this policy to specifically reduce the handling of notes and coins, and therefore reducing transmission risks to keep our teams safe.
We ask that all activities are pre-booked on our app and supporter portal to reduce the need for payment in venue, but where payments do need to be made face to face, these will need to be done by credit/debit card.
In all of our venues we use Risk Assessments to ensure the safety of our staff, supporters and visitors. Completing an in-depth review of what is/are the hazard(s), who is at risk, what are the control measures, where are the measures documented, and who is responsible for monitoring, recording and reviewing.
Given the massive scale of COVID-19 and its implications, an even more structured approach has been adopted based on a series of questions.
We will keep this page regularly updated with new information as it is available.
As always, thank you for your continued support.