Last updated: 6th April 2021
The restrictions are gradually being lifted and we’re all starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel. With formally organised outdoor sports now permitted in England, the next step is for leisure facilities such as gyms to reopen.
It’s come as welcome news to us all that this step will go ahead as planned on Monday, April 12th, as confirmed by Boris Johnson. This is part of Step Two of the lockdown roadmap.
We understand that you’ll be raring to go come Monday – but we just need to flag a few important details first so that you’re ready to hit the ground running. If you’re based outside of England, you may be wondering when certain activities are allowed again.
Our blog outlines the current situation and explains what you are and aren’t covered for if you’re an Insure4Sport policyholder.
What forms of indoor exercise are permitted in the UK?
The below facilities will reopen in England from April 12th:
- Indoor gyms
- Leisure centres
- Swimming pools
- Sports courts
- Dance studios and fitness centres
- Climbing wall centres
The same rules around social distancing will apply, and these facilities must only be visited by people on their own, or with other members of their household. You cannot meet someone who is not in your household for an indoor workout in a gym setting, unless you’re a personal trainer conducting a pre-arranged one-to-one session with a client.
Gyms are likely to operate at maximum capacity and maintain a one-way system, while the wearing of masks will be recommended while walking around the gym floor.
Children’s indoor exercise sessions can take place, but no group activities can take place indoors. This means you can’t host exercise classes in a gym. Saunas and steam rooms must also remain closed, as these aren’t due to reopen until May 17th, when Step Three is rolled out.
Our insurance will cover you to work in the above settings, provided you follow the correct guidance around social distancing and ensure you sanitise your equipment before and after each session.
Indoor gyms and leisure centres are due to reopen in Scotland on April 26th. Until then, you must continue to train outdoors with your clients.
As mentioned above, gyms are likely to operate at maximum capacity and maintain a one-way system, and the advice is to wear a mask while walking around the gym floor.
If all goes to plan with the reopening of gyms, the next step is for outdoor contact sports and indoor group exercise to resume on May 17th.
Gyms, leisure centres, and swimming pools in Wales will remain closed until May 10th as things stand. This delay has been labelled ‘irresponsible’ by some gym owners.
However, the good news is that organised outdoor activities for up to 30 people will be allowed again from May 3rd.
It hasn’t been confirmed when gyms will reopen in Northern Ireland at the time of writing.
Now that you know the rules around training indoors, here’s a recap of everything you need to know about training outdoors.
What is permitted under the new guidelines?
You’re allowed to train in the following settings outdoors as of today:
• Private gardens
• Swimming pools
• Sports courts (such as tennis and basketball courts)
• Golf courses, including mini golf
• Water sports venues
• Climbing walls
• Driving and shooting ranges
• Riding arenas at riding centres
• Archery venues
Out of school classes can also commence from today.
Furthermore, businesses eligible to host childcare and supervised activities for children are now able to host all outdoor children’s activities, and outdoor parent-and-child groups for up to 15 people. However, this doesn’t include participants under the age of five.
The rules in other parts of the UK are a little different. Here’s how things stand at the time of writing…
Organised outdoor children’s activities can resume from March 27th. The following will be considered if the public health situation remains positive and vaccination rates continue to increase:
- Reopening gyms, leisure, and fitness facilities
- Reopening community centres
- The recommencement of organised activities involving 30 people outdoors and 15 indoors
At the time of writing, you’re also permitted to partake in outdoor activity alone, or with up to four people from two different households.
Up to four people from two households are permitted to gather in a private garden for informal exercise.
If you’re running an organised group exercise session, following the guidance for organised sport, and working in a space that allows for social distancing, you can hold a group session for up to 15 people (including yourself).
There don’t appear to be any updates at this time.
What are the rules around training clients outdoors in England?
If you’re a personal trainer, fitness instructor, or sports coach, here are the rules around training clients:
- Organised activities are not subject to gathering limits, but you need to follow the guidance issued by the National Governing Bodies.
- You can run outdoor classes for up to 30 people, including yourself. These classes can take place in both public outdoor spaces and private gardens. However, please note that no social mixing is permitted indoors.
- Participants should not mix before or after the class.
- You can use marquees with at least two sides open to allow air flow through during your sessions.
- You can’t train with the same client more than once on the same day and they shouldn’t travel outside their local area to exercise.
- If you organise personal training sessions and group exercise outdoors (including in private gardens), you must be a qualified instructor following Covid-secure guidance. This means remaining two metres from your client. If this isn’t possible, you should stay one metre apart and wear a face covering. You must also sanitise your equipment before and after each session.
- Participants cannot bring family members to watch them take part in your outdoor training session.
- If you’re holding a training session for children, their parents cannot stay and watch the class. They can only drop off and pick up their children.
- Pad work is still not permitted in a fitness environment at the time of writing.
- Disabled people and their coach can take part in organised indoor sport, provided it follows the government’s guidance on recreational team sport and grassroots sport and leisure activity.
Which outdoor spaces does our insurance cover you for?
Our insurance will cover you to train in private gardens and the below outdoor public places, provided you’re following the above steps:
- Countryside which is accessible to the public
- Public gardens (regardless of whether or not you pay to enter them)
- The grounds of a heritage site
Can I train with clients indoors?
No, you’re not legally permitted to train clients in any indoor setting. Therefore, we won’t cover you if a claim is made against you by a client who you trained with indoors.
From April 12th, gyms in England are due to reopen use by people on their own or with members from their family, and children’s indoor exercise sessions can take place. However, no group activities can take place indoors.
At the time of writing, indoor facilities such as changing rooms should not be used, although toilet facilities can be accessed.
Can I use my own equipment for PT sessions?
Here are the rules for each region:
Where possible you should run sessions without using equipment, or the client should provide their own. If you need to provide equipment to one of your clients, you need to ensure that it’s been thoroughly sanitised before and after each use.
Wales and Northern Ireland
Can I train multiple clients per day?
If you’re working in a COVID-secure manner and environment, i.e., an outdoor public space specified above, you’re free to train multiple clients per day.
However, you can’t train with the same person more than once on the same day, as mentioned above.
Can I train clients online?
Under the terms of your Insure4Sport policy, you will be covered if you train your clients or conduct your classes online. We’re also delighted to announce that, in response to the current situation, we have taken steps to enhance this cover for you at no extra charge.
Where previously we only covered you to teach up to six people in an online session, regardless of the ratio outlined in your Insurance Scope, we have now enhanced this cover so that the coach to participant ratio for your sport now applies to online sessions. However, where the ratio is Unlimited, this will be a ratio of 1:30 for online sessions unless agreed with us in writing. This means you can teach up to 30 participants in one session.
Online training is permitted for all sports within Risk Group A, as well as non-contact Martial Arts sports.
Live two-way sessions which involve leading or coaching a two-way session are permitted with your clients. However, any new clients must go through the normal onboarding process before training with you, e.g., by filling out a Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q).
Please note that the activities you carry out must be completed within the UK, i.e., you must be based in the UK.
However, we will cover online clients from abroad, with the exceptions of the USA and Canada.
An important disclaimer
If you want to hold sessions using pre-recorded footage or public one-way streaming such as Facebook Live, YouTube, or Instagram, all of this is permitted. However, you need to include the below disclaimer at the beginning of each recording:
“You accept responsibility for providing all of your own equipment, clothing and footwear and the instructor will not accept any liability arising out of defective equipment.
“You acknowledge that the instructor is not present with you and cannot make an adequate assessment of the area where you are exercising and it is your responsibility to ensure the area is clear, safe, and free from any hazards which may cause injury to yourself or to others.
“You acknowledge that you are responsible for exercising within your own skill and fitness levels. If at any time you feel the moves you are completing are above your current skill level you must cease immediately. Likewise, if you feel any discomfort, pain, sickness or dizziness you will immediately stop the activity.”
What isn’t covered when training online
- Any exercises where participants are suspended above the floor i.e. aerial hoop and rings.
- Any exercises where participants are completing gymnastic moves such as handstands, cartwheels, and somersaults.
If you’re a pole fitness or pole dancing instructor, click here for more information.
Am I covered if someone I train with gets coronavirus?
Some personal trainers and fitness instructors have asked us if they’re covered under Loss of Earnings if one of their class members gets coronavirus and they have to self-isolate.
Unfortunately, Loss of Earnings only covers you for physical injuries sustained while carrying out the activity for which you’re insured. It doesn’t cover you for personal illness or consequent income loss from quarantine procedures.
Is there anything else I need to know?
If you’re on the receiving end of a claim made by one of your participants who is a resident outside of the UK, this claim will need to be brought before a UK court.
Furthermore, when participating in training or coaching, you should avoid:
- Touching surfaces
- Sharing equipment
- Touching your mouth and face
If you’re still unsure about anything, there are a couple of steps you can take.
If you’re an existing Insure4Sport policyholder
- Log in to your online account. Here, you can access your insurance documentation and find out about the conditions of your policy.
- If you’re still unsure, you can call us on 0333 400 9429 or email us at email@example.com (Monday – Friday, 9am – 5:30pm).
If you’re not an Insure4Sport policyholder
- You can build your own quote in a few minutes here. You will be shown what you’re covered for as you build the quote.
- If you have any questions about what we’ll cover you for which you’d rather discuss over the phone, you can call us on 0800 158 5530.
We hope that as many of you as possible can continue to train during this difficult time.