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COVID-19 Routemap - Phase 2 Guidance for Rowing V2 - Updated 1st July 2020

Overview

These guidelines apply to Scotland only, and have been produced in line with the Government guidance on public spaces, outdoor activity and exercise published on 18 June 2020, which can be viewed at; Scottish Government: Exercise & Activity Guidance.

Based on our discussions with Scottish Government/sportscotland and following the easing of lockdown restrictions, Scottish Rowing has developed a set of practical guidelines for clubs and participants to follow so that rowing can happen in Scotland during Phase 2, where the local environment allows and in line with Scottish Government advice and helps to prevent the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The following document sets out Scottish Rowing’s guidance for Phase 2 of the Scottish Government's COVID-19 Route Map. This guidance is effective from 1st July 2020.

This guidance is in five sections:

Overview

A: General Guidance for Rowing

B: Guidance for Clubs

C: Guidance for Rowers

D: Guidance for Coaches

Rowing clubs across the country are often different and operate in different local contexts. Assessing whether safe exercise can be provided depends on a range of factors, which apply differently at each location. It is the responsibility of club and participant to risk assess based on their local environment.

Clubs and participants should be aware that not all facilities will be able to open immediately following guidance changes and there will often be time lags as plans are put in place to re-engage staff, set up operations and ensure safety of participants.

These guidelines should be read in conjunction with any updated Scottish Government guidance on health, physical distancing, and hygiene. Clubs and participants should be aware of and able to adapt to changes in guidance at short notice. Information on Scottish Governments approach to managing COVID-19 is available at Scottish Government: COVID-19 Framework for decision making.

 Current Guidance Infographic 1st july final

Overview

People who are symptomatic should self-isolate for 7 days and household members for 14 days as per NHS guidance. No one who is self-isolating should attend an outdoor sports facility/activity.

IMPORTANT: Do not leave your home to undertake exercise or outdoor activity if Scottish Government advice means you should stay at home because you or someone you live with has or has had symptoms of COVID-19.

Section A: Guidance for Rowing

In Phase 2 as for Phase 1, rowing can form part of your daily exercise in singles (and larger boats for members of the same household). From 29th June 2020, rowing can take place in a club setting but access to facilities is restricted to the minimum required for safe access to boats and equipment subject to the club having appropriate COVID-19 related plans in place.

  1. You can meet up with members of two other households (subject to a maximum of 8 people) to go rowing however, you cannot row in the same boat as members of a different household due to physical distancing restrictions. You should not meet people from more than 2 other households each day.

  2. If you are shielding, you can meet up with members of one other household (subject to a maximum of 8 people) to go rowing however, you cannot row in the same boat as members of a different household due to physical distancing restrictions. You should not meet people from more than 1 other household each day.

  3. All rowers from different households must maintain a distance of at least 2m apart both on and off the water.

  4. Travel Restrictions outlined by the Scottish Government should always be adhered to. Up to date guidance is available at Scottish Government Phase 2: Staying safe and protecting others.

  5. Only competent and experienced rowers/scullers should be on the water and should be able to launch and land independently. Rowers should take care to make responsible decisions, row in favourable conditions and maintain activity within their capabilities. We would advise that anyone going rowing should be able to extract themselves from any difficulty they may find themselves in without involving third party agencies or the emergency services. Please note there may be reduced activity on the water and the banks so the likelihood of help being at hand may be reduced.

  6. Any rowing activity must be safe and in line with the Scottish Rowing Water Safety Code. You should carry out a risk assessment as you would for any other rowing session. For additional advice you can also consult the British Rowing safety alert Is It Safe to Go Afloat Alone?

  1. Rowers are asked to ensure they follow all relevant local and national guidelines with consideration for others on and off the water.

  2. Any rowing activity must be allowed by the relevant local waterway authority (e.g. Scottish Canals, Local Authorities).

  3. Follow public health guidelines for hygiene. Detailed guidance is available at:

www.hps.scot.nhs.uk/a-to-z-of-topics/hand-hygiene/

www.hps.scot.nhs.uk/web-resources-container/COVID-19-guidance-for-non- healthcare-settings/

10. Consider your current capabilities as you may not have rowed in a while.

Scottish Rowing’s priority is to protect the health of our members, volunteers and staff and help to suppress the spread of the COVID-19 virus. We recommend that members continue to follow the government and public health guidelines and to stay at home as much as possible. There may be a need to adapt to changes in guidance at short notice. Information on Scottish Government’s approach to managing COVID-19 is available at https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-COVID-19.

Section B: Guidance for Clubs

This guidance has been developed to assist Scottish Rowing Clubs by informing them of what Scottish Rowing considers the appropriate course of action at Phase 2 of the Scottish Government route map. The Scottish Government guidelines and information supersede any information provided by Scottish Rowing.

It is the responsibility of each club to undertake documented risk assessment, based on their local circumstances, prior to activity taking place. Consider safety first, particularly focusing on minimising the risk of infection/transmission. Appropriate measures must be put in place to ensure participants, staff and volunteers are always protected.

Phase 2 guidance allows for a return to rowing for exercise in a club setting from 29th June 2020. This is not a return to organised club training. Access to facilities is restricted to the minimum required for safe access to boats and equipment subject to the club having appropriate COVID-19 related plans in place.

Boat sheds can be accessed by participants to remove/store their boats as long as all appropriate physical distancing, safety and hygiene measures are in place. Clubs should risk assess before allowing member access to Boat Shed areas and provide all relevant cleaning equipment.

Clubhouses including changing rooms, training spaces and other communal spaces must remain closed.

  1. We advise the appointment of someone within the club to lead on all COVID-19 matters. This could be your existing safety officer, but it is important to ensure your club committee oversees and maintains the implementation of measures.

  2. All activity should be consistent with the Scottish Government guidance regarding health, travel, social distancing, and hygiene. This should take into consideration that at Phase 2 you can meet with up to two other households (or extended households) at a time outdoors, and no more than 8 people in total at a time.

  3. Clubs are advised to take time to ensure they reopen safely and that all new measures have been clearly communicated to members and the appropriate resources and materials provided. Further information is available in the Scottish Rowing facility guidance.

  4. Clubs must consider safety first, particularly minimising the risk of infection/transmission. A thorough documented risk assessment should be undertaken which considers the COVID-19 specific risks and any implications for your normal club risk assessment.

  1. Clubs should check with their insurance company that correct and full insurance cover is in place and valid before any activity takes place

  2. Appropriate measures should be put in place to ensure participants, staff and volunteers are protected including:

    • Strict hygiene measures are in place for all contact points and shared equipment

    • Ensuring social and physical distancing is maintained before, during and after activity. This should take into consideration that at phase 2 you can meet with up to two other households (or extended households) at a time outdoors, and no more than 8 people in total at a time

    • Agreeing criteria for who can row based on Club’s usual assessment of competence, additional support requirements and local conditions

    • Consider whether safety cover is required and if so, how it can be delivered safely ensuring physical distancing and hygiene measures are maintained.

  3. Any rowing activity will still need to be conducted within the guidelines of the Scottish Rowing Water Safety Code and in line with the Scottish Rowing Child Wellbeing and Protection policies and guidelines.

  4. Clubs should maintain attendance records for each session to assist with contact tracing in the unfortunate event of an occurrence of the virus being diagnosed in one of the club attendees.

  5. Clubs should consider use of a booking system and staggered boating times to manage numbers and support social and physical distancing.

  6. Any measures put in place to ensure rowing activity can resume need to be capable of being flexed or changed quickly should the guidance change as restrictions are further relaxed or tightened up.

Facilities and Facility Access

  1. Compounds and boat storage can be open.

  2. Clubs may now open toilets for use by members if they follow the guidelines outlined on the Scottish Government website Opening Public Toilets Guidelines.
    a. The opening of toilets should be accompanied by local risk assessment, and control measures should be proactively monitored by clubs. 
    b. All appropriate cleaning procedures and equipment/disinfectant should be provided as per Health Protection Scotland guidance.

  3. Changing rooms, social spaces and gyms should remain closed.

  4. Clubhouses should remain closed and only be opened to allow access to boat storage where access cannot be obtained without access via the clubhouse and only if suitable risk assessments and safety measures are put in place.  These should include restricting access to one person at a time, ideally with a one-way system in operation, and no contact with hard surfaces such as door handles.  Persons moving through the area should not stop or congregate at any time.

  5. Where possible, one person should be allocated to collect equipment from the boat storage area and equipment should be left outside on trestles or outside racking for club members to access. Access to the storage area should be kept to a minimum and subject to maintaining physical distancing. All shared contact points should be cleaned.

  6. Ensure measures are in place to minimise encounters between people, including in car parks and at entrances.

  7. Where safe and appropriate, doors and compound gates should be left open while the club is operational.

  8. Consider different entry and exit routes to the venue and one-way circulation within boat storage where possible and ensure these are clearly marked.

  9. Consider marking two metre distances at appropriate points, such as the entry gates to boat storage.

Health, Safety & Hygiene

  1. Ensure access to first aid and emergency equipment is maintained. Where equipment is stored indoors please ensure public access to indoors is restricted as much as possible with hygiene and safety protocols reviewed as part of the risk assessment.

  2. Please ensure the first aid equipment has been updated appropriately for the COVID pandemic and first aiders have undertaken appropriate additional training.
  3. Guidance on delivering first aid during the coronavirus pandemic is available on the St John’s Ambulance website.

  4. Cleaning of equipment, hand and respiratory hygiene are core measures to be implemented and provision should be made for these.

    • Make hand sanitisers or wipes available for use at entrance/exit to boat storage where possible.

    • Clear guidance and plans are needed for cleaning of facilities and equipment, and waste disposal. For instance, common touchpoint surfaces (gates, door handles, handrails etc) should where possible be left open but if not possible, regular cleaning wearing disposable gloves should be undertaken.

    • Gloves are not a substitute for handwashing. You should dispose of worn gloves immediately after use and wash your hands again.

Detailed guidance is available at:

Health Protection Scotland: General guidance for non-healthcare settings

Public Health England: Cleaning in a non-healthcare setting

Health Protection Scotland: Hand Hygiene techniques

NHS Hand Hygiene Poster

Equipment

  1. Sharing of equipment should be kept to a minimum.

  2. Participants should, where possible, use their own personal equipment and ensure appropriate hygiene rules are adhered to.

  3. Remove any other unnecessary equipment and items from boat storage and compounds.

  4. Individuals should not spend any more time than necessary in the boat storage area.

  5. Boats, oars, coaching launches, and all related equipment should be thoroughly washed down afterwards using appropriate cleaning products. Pay particular attention to hard surfaces and touchpoints like blade handles, gates and seats.

  6. Hand sanitiser should be at least 60% alcohol based and detergent wipes are appropriate for the surface they are being used on. Cleaning products should conform to EN14476 standard or any detergent is followed by chlorine releasing agent.

  7. Where possible, ensure all equipment is checked prior to use to avoid participants having to adjust or touch it.

  8. No personal equipment should be left at the facility by the participant once activity has ended.

  9. Bins may be provided but should be regularly checked, cleaned/sanitised, emptied and disposed of using appropriate personal protective equipment.

Communication with Members

  1. Clubs should communicate clearly and regularly with members and participants setting out what they are doing to manage risk and what advice they are giving to individuals before, during and after visits to the club.

  2. Ensure members are aware in advance of any new measures being put in place at the club and new guidelines they need to follow.

  3. Communicate clearly opening times and how people can safely access a facility, if relevant, for example through a booking or queuing system.

  4. It is more important than ever to consider inclusive guidance for people who need support to be active.

  5. Ensure signs on guidelines for participating safely and promoting hygiene measures are clearly displayed and up to date.

Section C: Guidance for Rowers

IMPORTANT: Do not leave your home to row if Government advice means you should stay at home because you or someone you live with has or has had symptoms of COVID-19. People who are symptomatic should self-isolate for 7 days and household members for 14 days as per NHS guidance. No one who is self-isolating should attend an outdoor sports facility/activity.

People who are shielding can now undertake outdoor exercise activities. Further information is available at Scottish Government: Shielding support and contacts.

Be aware that guidance can change, and restrictions may be reintroduced. Make sure ensure you have checked the latest version of guidelines for your activity and stay up to date. The latest Scottish Government information is available at Scottish Government: Coronavirus in Scotland.

Be aware that onsite toilets might not be open. Please check ahead with your club. Changing facilities and other indoor spaces are currently closed.

Familiarisation with new club rules

Your club will be updating their safety policy and operating procedures and should communicate any changes to you and publicise these changes within the facility. You should ensure you are familiar with them.

These may include:

  • Restricted access to facilities.

  • Restricted access to equipment.

  • Extra rules on cleaning equipment and surfaces.

  • Restrictions on when you can attend.

  • Changes in how to access facilities.

  • Requirements to sign in and out of facilities.

Before Leaving Home

1. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before leaving home. Information on hand hygiene is available at: Health Protection Scotland: Hand hygiene techniques

2. Ensure you have packed all essentials (water, sunscreen, hand sanitiser, face mask/covering, gloves etc.) but take the minimum number of items that you need to participate.

3. Ensure you are prepared for rowing before leaving your house (in training kit, with appropriate footwear e.g. wellies etc.).

4. Travel Guidance outlined by the Scottish Government should always be adhered to. Guidance is available at: Scottish Government Phase 2: Staying safe and protecting others.

5. Wear a facemask/covering where this is recommended by government advice.

6. Arrive as close as possible to the time you need to be at the venue/facility and allow others to leave before you enter. If you need to wait, then do so away from the facility and clear of the gates.

7. If driving, park your car in such a way as to facilitate physical distancing.

Health & Hygiene

  1. If you need to sneeze or cough, do so into a tissue or upper sleeve. Dispose of your tissue into an appropriate bin supplied at the venue or place in a plastic bag and take home. Wash your hands afterwards for 20 seconds.

  2. Avoid touching your face and ensure to clean your hands with at least 60% alcohol gel when you finish participating.

Pre session (when at facility)

  1. Maintain physical distancing (2m) from people outside of your household at all times.

  2. Wash your hands when you arrive and before touching equipment or other shared surfaces (doors, windows, handrails). Your club should make hand washing facilities readily available but come prepared with your own supplies. Please remember that a good hand wash takes at least 20 seconds.

  3. Avoid touching shared surfaces where possible.

  4. Avoid touching your face with your hands, including when wearing gloves.

  1. Gloves should be worn only temporarily e.g. to clean or touch shared surfaces and are not a substitute for handwashing. You should dispose of worn gloves immediately after use and wash your hands again.

  2. Individuals should not spend more time than necessary in the boat storage area when retrieving equipment and no access to unauthorised areas of clubhouse is allowed.

  3. Use your own clearly marked equipment.

  4. Thoroughly wash any equipment you will be using appropriate cleaning products before your session. You do not know who may have been in contact with it or how well it was cleaned. Viruses survive longest (up to 72 hours) on hard surfaces such as plastic or metal.

  5. Pay attention to common touch points like blade handles, seats, footplate, swivel, riggers, the common carrying points of oars and boats. In addition, be aware of your contact with the cleaning products or equipment e.g. taps, buckets, hoses.

During session (when rowing)

COVID-19 presents new challenges to individuals and clubs, but we should not forget about the basics. Make sure you are following your club’s safety policies that ensure you are safe when rowing.

  1. Returning to rowing at this stage should be about rowing for your general health, wellbeing, and enjoyment.

  2. Waterways and towpaths will be less busy than usual, people who might normally be able to help or raise the alarm in an emergency may not be around.

  3. Someone should always know when and where you are rowing.

  4. You should be capable of launching, landing, and recovering yourself independently. If you do not feel safe, do not go out.

  5. Start with shorter, less intense sessions and build back up to your normal length of outing. Consult our guidance on training intensity and frequency

  6. Be wary of blisters that may develop after an extended period away from rowing, give your hands time to adapt.

  7. Sore blisters will make washing your hands unpleasant – frequent hand washing is essential.

  1. If blisters or open wounds form, ensure you take additional precautions to keep these clean and free from infection.

  2. Be mindful of new pain or muscular tightness that might indicate you are pushing yourself too hard, too soon.

Post session (before leaving facility)

1. Thoroughly wash any equipment you use with appropriate cleaning products after your session before storing it in the appropriate place in the facility. If wearing gloves, you should dispose of these immediately after use.

  1. Wash your hands after you have stored all equipment and before leaving the facility.

  2. Wear a face mask / covering where this is recommended by government advice.

  3. Maintain physical distancing (2m) from people outside of your household at all times.

  4. Avoid touching your face with your hands, including when wearing gloves.

  5. Do not loiter around the club facilities and depart as soon as you have finished washing.

Considerations when you return home

  1. Wash your hands when you return home.

  2. Shower after attending your club.

  3. Change into clean clothes and wash your rowing kit immediately.

Section D: Guidance for Coaches

If you are a coach you can work outdoors, providing all activity is consistent with current Scottish Government guidance on health, physical distancing and hygiene – you will also need to make sure that you can adapt to changes in guidance at short notice.

IMPORTANT: Do not leave your home to undertake exercise or outdoor activity if Scottish Government advice means you should stay at home because you or someone you live with has or has had symptoms of COVID-19.

Coaches should ensure the following guidance is followed.

  1. People who are symptomatic should self-isolate for 7 days: household members for 14 days as per info on NHS guidance. No one who is self-isolating should attend an outdoor sports activity.

  2. At all times, coaches and participants should adhere to the Scottish Government’s physical distancing guidelines staying at least 2m away from others.

  3. A coach should not deliver instruction to more than 2 households at any one time or to more than 2 households per day.

  1. Coaches should ensure they are familiar with the rest of the Scottish Rowing guidance for Phase 2 before delivering any activity.

  2. Risk assessments should be carried out and documented at all sites. Consider safety first, particularly minimising the risk of infection/transmission. Appropriate physical distancing and hygiene measures must be put in place to ensure participants are always protected.

  3. Appropriate insurance policies should be in place for all coached activities and checked for validity with the relevant insurance provider before undertaking work with clients.

  4. Virtual coaching is still permitted, and you should consult the Scottish Rowing Guidance for Online Training.

  5. Coaches should be aware of the Scottish Rowing Child Wellbeing and Protection Policy. Further guidance and resources are also available. Coaches should not spend time alone on a one to one basis with a child or young person. The coaching of a child or young person is therefore only advised where a parent or guardian is present.

  6. Coaches should consider that children and young people may have had different experiences during the COVID-19 lockdown, please see guidance from children first on Children and Young People Returning to Sport.

  7. Coaches should ensure they only deliver sessions where participants they coach are of a competent level to self-rescue if required.

  8. The primary role for a coach in Phase 2 should be for the act of coaching. A coach will always have reasonable responsibility for the safety of the rowers they are coaching. Coaches should only perform rescues in the event of an emergency and take precaution to ensure that they maintain physical distancing and protect themselves and their rowers should there be a safety need.

  9. Coaches should consider carrying additional safety equipment such as a mask gloves and hand sanitizer for use in the event of an emergency.

  10. Briefing/debriefing should not be conducted indoors under any circumstances.

  11. Coaches should avoid touching shared surfaces and their mouth and face where possible.

  12. Coaches should plan appropriately for the session in advance, be aware of their responsibilities, be clear on expectations with participants and build in a review period to reflect on effectiveness and safety of the session.

  1. Cleaning, hand, and respiratory hygiene are core measures and provision should be made for these. Clear guidance and plans are needed for cleaning of equipment and waste disposal. Note that toilets and other washing facilities may not be available. Detailed guidance is available at:

    1. Health Protection Scotland guidance for non-healthcare settings

    2. Health Protection Scotland guidance for hand hygiene

  2. Personal equipment such as throw ropes and megaphones should not be shared, and measures must be put in place to reduce the risk of contamination.

  3. Communication with participants, and where relevant parents or guardians, is important and should be planned for:

a. Coaches should ensure they have an approach to activity that is feasible to deliver safely.

b. Participants should know what to do before/during/after attending their coached session.

19. Further information and guidance for coaches is available on the sportscotland website. Getting Coaches Ready for Sport.

Scottish Rowing

July 2020