Updated 13th November 2020
In October, the Welsh Assembly Government announced its plans to have a ‘firebreak’ for 17 days and then re-open swimming pools in Wales from the 9th November.
On reopening businesses after the firebreak, the Welsh Assembly Government also announced that there would be a new set of rules from 9th November 2020, where there is a maximum of 15 people allowed in one room/area for organised activities.
What does this mean for swimming lessons in Wales?
There is no limit on the number of children under the age of 18 who can participate in or facilitate an organised sports activity for the development of well-being of children, i.e. swimming lessons. The number of children aged 18 or under is only constrained by the boundaries of the setting and the need for sufficient adults, within the maximum of 15, to be present to supervise.
Children aged 3-18 years
For children aged under 18, each child would NOT count towards the maximum of 15 persons in one room as per the Welsh Assembly Government / STA guidance.
Adults aged 18 plus
For Adults aged 18 plus, each adult would be included towards the maximum of 15 persons in one room as per the Welsh Assembly Government / STA guidance.
Baby & Pre-schoolers
For Baby & Pre-school classes (generally 0-3 years old), because the parent is in the water with the baby / infant then the ‘pairs’ would count as one person towards the maximum of 15 persons in one room as per the Welsh Assembly Government / STA guidance.
Important Factors To Still Consider:
- It is important to still factor in swimming teachers who would generally be regarded as participants in the swimming lesson, so the limit of 15 should include them in one room / area. However, anybody who is there to organise or support the swimming lesson, if they are working or providing a voluntary service, can also attend and do not need to be considered within the limit of 15. Children under the age of 18 are also excluded from the number in the gathering.
- Supporters and spectators of organised activities should be limited to only those who absolutely need to attend, for example, parents or guardians of children who require their attendance for health or safeguarding reasons.
- It is recommended that all lessons, for all age groups, are risk assessed in line with the guidance set out by the Welsh Assembly Government and STA (see page 12 for free risk assessment templates).
- It is recommended that all swim schools / pool operators in Wales apply all reasonable mitigating control measures to still reduce the chances of COVID-19 within swimming lessons such as social distancing/hand washing/use of face coverings when not in the water etc
- Maximum numbers in an area should also be continued to be adhered to, in line with guidance from UK Active of 100sq/ft per person.
- Maximum Bather Loads in the water should also be continued to be adhered to, in line with Welsh Assembly Government / STA guidance. Note: that while for under 11s, social distancing measures have been relaxed, there is still a maximum bather load capacity for swimming pools. Please refer to STA’s Bather Load Calculator.
- All other public areas of the leisure facility (see page 24 onwards) such as changing rooms, reception areas etc, the maximum of 15 persons in one room is still factored into your risk assessments and you are adhering to guidance from the Welsh Assembly Government / STA.
👏 Thanks to STA Tutor, Chris Bateman for providing his expert advice.