Indoor Swimming Lessons & Non-Team Aquatic Activities

This week, Boris Johnson introduced a COVID-19 ‘three-tier’ system for England, which will be labelled as “medium”, “high” or “very high”.

Depending on the situation in the local area, each part of the country is allocated into one of these categories, each with their own set of restrictions, but in simplistic terms, what does this mean for indoor swimming lessons and non-sport aquatic activities?

Tier 1 (medium) areas
  • Organised COVID-safe swimming lessons can continue indoors for:
    • All under-18s
    • Disabled people
    • Over-18s in an educational setting – this also includes baby and pre-school swimming (1 adult and 1 baby are classed as ‘one’ during the lesson while in the pool, but be mindful of social distancing outside of the pool).
  • Other indoor activities, such as non-sport aquatic exercise classes, can continue in larger numbers based on the size of the venue, provided that participants are socially distanced and adults are in separate groups of up to six people
  • Gyms and leisure facilities can stay open.
Tier 2 (high) areas
  • As per the rules under Tier 1.
Tier 3 (very high) areas

As per the rules under Tier 1 and 2.

However, gyms and leisure facilities may have to close depending on local approaches to business closures. Please check with your local authority.

Where pools remain open, organised COVID-safe swimming lessons and non-sport aquatic activities can continue indoors, as per Tier 1 and Tier 2.

Working in pools located in private homes and gardens

If the pool is used solely for business purposes, follow the guidance above based on your postcode location.

In all cases, you must follow the existing guidance on social distancing, hygiene and ventilation, as per STA’s guidance.


Medium (Tier 1)

People may travel into any tiers in England to take part in COVID-secure swimming lessons – this applies to under-18s swimming lessons and for people with a disability.

High (Tier 2)

As per Tier 1. However, it is recommended that travel is minimised where possible.

Very high (Tier 3)

People are advised not to travel into or out of areas that have a very high alert level – however, this doesn’t apply to travel where it is necessary to enable physical activity for under-18s and disabled people to take place, i.e. swimming lessons.

Across all tiers, people may travel into any tier if its for the purpose of COVID-secure swimming lessons – this applies to under-18s swimming lessons and for people with a disability.

Local restrictions may further supersede this travel advise, so please always check with your local authority and the local rules related to travelling in and out of Wales and Scotland.

STA will continue to update this guidance, as more information from the government becomes available.

Information sourced from CIMSPA and Sport England guidance.

Association News, Coronavirus Updates, Swimming Teaching

Join Our Mailing List

Stay up-to-date with the latest STA and leisure industry news by subscribing to our mailing list!


Are you looking for a job in leisure or have a vacancy you want to advertise for FREE?