Return to Rowing Guidance - COVID-19 Strategic Framework V5.5 - Effective 26 April 2021
*4/5/2021 This page has been updated to include revised Competition Guidance for Levels 0-3*
2. Sport & Physical Activity Protection Levels
3. Travel Guidance
4. Guidance for Clubs
i. Facilities and Facility Access
ii. Outdoor Sport for Children and Young People
iii. Health, Safety and Hygiene
v. Communication with Members
vi. Test and Protect
5. Rowing in Crew Boats
6. Guidance for Rowers
7. Guidance for Coaches
8. Competition Guidance
9. Appendix 1 - Level 4 Guidance
This guidance applies to Scotland only, and has been produced in line with the Government guidance on health, physical distancing and hygiene. Organised rowing activities can be undertaken, providing all activity is consistent with current Scottish Government guidance on health, physical distancing and hygiene – you will also need to make sure that your club, facility and participants are made aware and can adapt to changes in guidance at short notice. Information on Scottish Governments approach to managing COVID-19 is available at Scottish Government: Coronavirus in Scotland.
Rowers should take care to make responsible decisions, row in favourable conditions and maintain activity within their capabilities.
All activity should be risk assessed considering the competence of the rower(s) or sculler(s), the activity being undertaken, the local conditions and the need to minimise the risk of capsize. This is important to avoid putting unnecessary pressure on the emergency services from having to rescue or treat rowers.
Rowers are asked to follow all relevant local and national guidelines with consideration for others on and off the water. Any rowing activity must be allowed by the relevant local waterway authority (e.g. Scottish Canals, Local Authorities).
Travel guidance outlined by the Scottish Government should always be followed. Further information on what travel is permitted is available at Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on travel and transport. Specific information on car sharing is available from Transport Scotland: advice on how to travel safely.
The Scottish Government's strategic framework document for managing COVID-19 provides a 5-Level (0-4) approach to restrictions with each local authority area (or sub-area) placed in a relevant protection level depending upon its COVID-19 status which will be reviewed weekly.
Clubs and participants should be aware of their local area protection level and associated restrictions which may be in place and should consider this as part of the risk assessment planning. Broad guidance for rowing activity which should be followed within each Level is set out in the table below.
More detailed information relating to the Level 4 restrictions and exemptions available for sport and physical activity is set out in Appendix 1.
Information for each local authority area, including their protection level is available at Coronavirus (COVID-19): local protection levels
A post code checker is available at COVID restrictions by protection levels in areas of Scotland.
2. Sport & Physical Activity Protection Levels
The table below provides a summary of the Sport and Physical Activity Protection Levels as they apply to rowing. These are subject to following Scottish Government Guidance and the detailed guidance contained in this document
|Level 0||Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4|
|Organised* outdoor rowing activities including training, competition and events.||An outdoor sporting ‘field of play bubble’ may consist of participants including coaches, officials and other support staff with maximum numbers allowed in each level noted below. Multiple bubbles can be used for training and SGB competition if appropriate guidance, set out within this document, is followed. Indoor and outdoor stadium, or equivalent events/competitions, involving spectators are subject to relevant Scottish Government guidance and approval. Other outdoor participation events are permitted subject to further Scottish Government clarification on numbers.||
Local training/intra-club competition only
U12s: max 30 including coaches
|*subject to Scottish Government confirmation||Maximum of 30 Participants||See above|
|Contact and non-contact sport permitted for all||
Contact sport permitted for U18 only.
Non-contact sport permitted for all.
12-17 non-contact sport only
|Under 18||Crew boat rowing permitted||Crew boat rowing permitted||
U12 crew boats permitted.
12-17 year olds - 1x and household crew boats. Physical distancing must be maintained
|18 and over||
1x and household crew boats only
Physical distancing must be maintained
1x and household crew boats only
Physical distancing must be maintained
|Organised* indoor sport, competition, events and Physical Activity||The number of participants allowed to take part in organised indoor sport or physical activity should follow Scottish Government guidance on the opening of sport and leisure facilities.
‘Group’ activity refers to adults who take part in organised sport or physical activity where the number of participants is larger than allowed under normal household rules. ‘Individual exercise’ refers to organised sport or physical activity within household rules i.e. 1:1 coaching.
|Under 18||Indoor contact and non-contact training permitted
||Indoor contact and non-contact training permitted.||No indoor training permitted.|
|18 and over||Indoor non-contact training permitted. Physical distancing must be maintained||Individual exercise only. No group activity/training|
Professional & performance sports with Resumption of Performance Sport guidance in place and approved by Scottish Government or sportscotland is permitted at all Levels
Travel guidance outlined by the Scottish Government should always be followed. Further information on what travel is permitted in the five protection levels for each local authority area is available at Coronavirus (COVID-19): local protection levels. Participants should, where possible, avoid any unnecessary travel out of area and keep journeys within area to an absolute minimum.
Please consult the detailed guidance in this document for details of the specific exemptions for sport and physical activity.
|TOILETS, CHANGING ROOMS AND SHOWERS||
Where changing rooms and showering facilities are to be used, specific guidance relating to use of ‘Changing and Showers’ is available at Getting Your Facilities Fit for Sport. This is applicable at all levels where facilities remain open.
Operators may open public toilets if they follow the guidelines outlined on the Scottish Government website Opening Public Toilets Guidelines
Indoor sports facilities closed.
Changing rooms closed
Public toilets open.
Contractors & Staff
Sports facility operators must ensure that Scottish Government guidance on workforce planning in sport & leisure facilities is followed for contractors and staff and ensure existing health and safety advice is maintained and aligned. This should be detailed in the risk assessment.
Although gym facilities can open, clubs and facility operators are encouraged to consider whether meetings and training must be completed in person or whether these can be completed online or by telephone. If it is essential that meetings and training takes place in person, Scottish Government guidance for general workplaces must be followed and a risk assessment should be completed.
HOSPITALITY & RETAIL
Clubs and sports facilities
Clubhouses and sports facilities which provide catering and bar services, can operate providing they adhere to Scottish Government guidance appropriate to the protection level in which they are operating. Further information is available at Coronavirus (COVID-19): tourism and hospitality sector guidance.Retail units operated by sports facility operators may reopen provided all specific Scottish Government guidance for retailers appropriate to the protection level in which they are operating is in place and adhered to. Further information from the Scottish Government is available at Retail Sector Guidance.
*’Organised sporting or physical activity’ refers to activities which are undertaken in a structured and managed way following specific rules and guidance of relevant SGBs, local authorities or businesses who in turn have fully applied related Scottish Government and sportscotland guidance. All organised activity should be overseen by a Covid Officer with documented risk assessments undertaken and mitigating actions put in place to ensure the health, safety and welfare of participants, coaches and officials.
Rowers who have access to owned equipment, or equipment allocated for their exclusive use are permitted to access storage for informal exercise subject to:
- The club’s approval of that activity in line with club's standard safety procedures and risk assessment
- Documented risk assessment and management of access in line with wider facilities guidance.
- Activity complying with general household numbers and travel guidance
3. Travel Guidance
- Travel guidance outlined by the Scottish Government should always be followed. Further information on what travel is permitted is available at Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on travel and transport.
- Specific information on car sharing is available from Transport Scotland: advice on how to travel safely.
- Information for each local government area, including their level is available at Coronavirus (COVID-19): local protection levels including a post code checker.
- When a participant travels out with their local government area they should follow the travel guidance detailed below.
- Children & Young People (17 years or under)
- Participants aged 17 years or under can travel to and from Level 0, 1, 2 and 3 areas to take part in organised sport, training, and competition.
- Children and young people can also travel to and from a Level 4 area, if for example, they belong to a club which is outside their own local government area. This flexibility is to allow children and young people to take part in sport or organised activity, but they should travel no further than they need to. If attending a sport/activity in a Level 3 area or below, Level 4 guidance will apply to the whole activity e.g. 12 to 17-year-old outdoor activity should be restricted to non-contact and include a maximum of 15 participants.
- Children and young people living in a Level 3 or 4 area can also travel out with their local government area to take part in informal exercise such as walking, running or cycling. Such activity should follow Scottish Government ‘local protection levels’ guidance.
- Adults (18 years or over)
- Participants aged 18 years or over can travel to and from a Level 0, 1 and 2 area to take part in organised sport, physical activity, training and competition. They should not travel to a Level 3 or 4 area.
- Adults living in a Level 3 area should only travel locally or to another Level 3 area to take part in organised sport or physical activity as outlined in the Sport & Physical Activity Protection Levels table.
- Adults living in a Level 4 area should only travel locally to take to take part in organised sport or physical activity.
- Adults living in a Level 3 or Level 4 area can also travel out with their local government area to take part in informal exercise such as walking, cycling, golf or running. Such activity should follow Scottish Government ‘local protection levels’ guidance
4. Guidance for Clubs
This guidance has been developed to assist Scottish Rowing Clubs to operate safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Scottish Government guidelines and information supersede any information provided by Scottish Rowing.
Rowing clubs across the country 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 clubs and participants to risk assess based on their local environment. Participants should also follow the general guidance below
Clubs and their members should be aware of their local area protection level and associated restrictions which may be in place and should consider this as part of risk assessment planning.
Where a local outbreak has been reported, clubs should review their facility/operational risk assessment and consider if additional mitigating actions should be put in place to reduce risk. This may, for example, include; suspending activity, enhancing hygiene and physical distancing measures or introducing additional activity restrictions.
- Clubs should appoint a COVID-19 officer to lead on all COVID-19 matters. The COVID-19 officer should ensure all appropriate management processes are in place so that they can effectively oversee and maintain the implementation of the measures outlined in these guidelines. An e-learning module for COVID officers is available here.
- The COVID officer must ensure that full risk assessments, processes and mitigating actions are in place before any sport or leisure activity takes place. Specific consideration should be given to the needs of those who are at greater risk including some older adults or those with disabilities.
- Clubs should only re-open facilities when it is safe to do so, in accordance with Scottish Government guidance.
- It is a mandatory requirement that all clubs put in place comprehensive Test and Protect procedures to help break chains of transmission of COVID-19. Further information is available within this guidance and at Scottish Government: Test & Protect.
- When people are NOT participating in organised rowing activity, clubs and individuals should comply with government guidance on socialising for the Level in which they are operating. Details of group sizes indoors and outdoors for adults and young people at each level can be found at Coronavirus (COVID-19): Local Protection Levels.
- When participating in organised outdoor rowing activity including training, competition or small scale events, government guidance permits the formation of bubbles of up to 30 people at Level 3 (including coaches, officials and other support staff). Numbers at Levels 0-2 are still to be confirmed by Scottish Government. However, the group size for the activity should also take account of the club’s standard safety risk assessment and standard coach to athlete ratios for the activity being undertaken.
- Multiple outdoor sporting bubbles can be used for SGB training and competition up to a maximum of 200 per day at Level 3 In such cases operators and organisers should undertake comprehensive risk assessments to ensure that these bubbles do not mix at any time including before, during or after an activity. Specific mitigations could include staggered start times, limiting car parking or controlling access/egress points Once an individual has completed their activity, they should immediately vacate the ‘field of play’ and are then subject to household rules.
- Total participant numbers allowed to take part in small-scale events at Levels 0, 1 & 2 are being reviewed by Scottish Government. Further information will be provided once available.
- For contact sport (when permitted), the formation of such a bubble in effect suspends physical distancing and household guidelines, for the duration of the activity. For non-contact activity, physical distancing must be maintained.
- Once an individual has completed their activity, they must vacate the "field of play" and are then subject to household rules.
- Clubs are advised to take time to ensure 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.
- Clubs should check with their insurance company that correct and full insurance cover is in place and valid before any activity takes place.
- 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 and after activity.
- Wearing of face coverings in accordance with Scottish Government guidance.
- Where safety cover is required this should be risk assessed to ensure it can be delivered safely ensuring physical distancing and hygiene measures are maintained.
- Any rowing activity must 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.
- Clubs should consider use of a booking system and staggered boating times to manage numbers and support social and physical distancing.
- Where an employee is providing an activity, relevant work placed risk assessments and consultation should take place in advance of any activity being undertaken. See the Businesses, workplaces and self -employed people section at Scottish Government: Coronavirus in Scotland.
- No spectating should take place indoors or outdoors other than where a parent is supervising a child or vulnerable adult. Physical distancing guidance should always be followed.
- Any measures put in place to facilitate rowing activity need to be capable of being flexed or changed quickly should the guidance change.
Facilities and Facility Access
Outdoor Sports Areas
- Clubs may open outdoor sports areas if documented risk assessments are undertaken and all appropriate measures are put in place to ensure the safety of participants, staff and volunteers.
- Please refer to additional guidance produced by sportscotland at: Getting Your Facilities Fit for Sport.
- Ensure measures are in place to minimise encounters between people, including in car parks and at entrances.
- Consider different entry and exit routes to the venue and one-way circulation within boat storage where possible and ensure these are clearly marked.
- Consider marking two metre distances at appropriate points, such as the entry gates to boat storage.
- Clubs should refer to the Strategic Framework to determine whether indoor facilities can operate in their Local Authority area.
- If permitted, indoor sport and leisure facilities can open if Scottish Government Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guidance for the opening of indoor and outdoor sport and leisure facilities is fully implemented. Additional resources have been produced by sportscotland Getting your Facilities Fit for Sport to help clubs prepare for reopening.
- Where permitted by the Scottish Government guidelines, the reopening of indoor training areas is at the discretion of the club including consideration of:
- The capacity of the club’s volunteers to manage the requirements set out in the guidelines
- The ability of the club to implement the appropriate procedures to ensure the safety of all users.
- Participants should not congregate before or after an activity. Clubs must ensure comprehensive mitigating actions are put in place and documented in their risk assessment to stop this happening. Consider staggering start/arrival times and any other relevant additional measures.
- The number of participants allowed to take part in indoor sport or leisure activity must be risk assessed following Scottish Government Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on the opening of indoor and outdoor sport and leisure facilities. The number of participants accessing indoor facilities should be limited to ensure physical distancing can be maintained.
- Changing rooms, showers and toilets:
- Use of changing rooms and showering facilities should be avoided where possible, although they may be made available if needed in the event of a capsize and must be made available for participants with disabilities or special needs. Use of these facilities under these circumstances is subject to adherence to Government guidance. In Level 4, changing rooms must close.
- Clubs may open toilets for public use if they follow the guidelines outlined on the Scottish Government website Opening Public Toilets Guidelines.
- For detailed facility guidance including a checklist that covers use of changing rooms, showers and toilets visit Scottish Government Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on the opening of indoor and outdoor sport and leisure facilities.
- Access to locker rooms and storage areas is permitted for dropping off or collecting equipment or sports clothing. Clubs should ensure mitigating action is put in place to minimise the risk of virus transmission including physical distancing, hygiene and cleaning measures.
Outdoor Sport for Children and Young People
- The Club COVID-19 officer should ensure a specific documented risk assessment is completed and all appropriate mitigations are in place prior to commencing junior rowing activity.
- Coaches and other adults supporting organised activity should attempt to keep physically distant where possible, but it is recognised that this will not always be possible. In such circumstances the club COVID-19 Officer should consider appropriate mitigating actions as part of the risk assessment.
- Parents/guardians who are supervising their children should abide by Scottish Government physical distancing guidance and stay at least 2m away from those out with their own household. Groups of parents from different households should not congregate before, during or after the activity.
- All adults involved in coaching / actively engaging with children or vulnerable adults in an organised environment should have undertaken appropriate SGB safeguarding and Covid-19 training.
Health, Safety and Hygiene
- Scottish Government has produced the Coronavirus (COVID-19): FACTS poster including translations and accessible formats. Where possible operators should use this document to reinforce messages. FACTS stands for: Face Coverings, Avoid crowded places, Clean your hands regularly, Two metre distance and Self isolate and book a test if you have symptoms.
- 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.
- Please ensure the first aid equipment has been updated appropriately for the COVID pandemic and first aiders have undertaken appropriate additional training.
- In the event of first aid treatment being required it is recognised that a suitably qualified person, coach or supervising adult may require to attend to the injured participant. The club COVID-19 officer should consider processes for managing this as part of their risk assessment. This could include but not be limited to;
- Provision of suitable PPE
- Training of coaches/supervising adults
- Presence of one parent/guardian being required at the activity for children/vulnerable adults.
- Guidance on delivering first aid during the coronavirus pandemic is available on the St John’s Ambulance website.
- Cleaning of equipment, hand and respiratory hygiene are core measures to be implemented and provision should be made for these.
- Make hand sanitizers or wipes available for use in communal areas and at the entrance/exit to the club/facility where this is possible. Hand sanitiser should be at least 60% alcohol based.
- 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. Cleaning products should conform to EN14476 standards
- Gloves are not a substitute for handwashing. You should dispose of worn gloves immediately after use and wash your hands again.
- Clubs should ensure participants and visitors wear face coverings, if indoors, before and after activity or when in non-playing areas of the facility. This is a mandatory requirement. Coronavirus (COVID-19): public use of face coverings provides guidance on general use and exemptions.
Further health, safety and hygiene guidance is available at:
- Sharing of equipment should be kept to a minimum.
- Participants should, where possible, use their own personal equipment and ensure appropriate hygiene rules are adhered to.
- Remove unnecessary equipment and items from boat storage areas, compounds and indoor training areas.
- 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.
- 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.
- Cleaning products should conform to EN14476 standard or any detergent is followed by chlorine releasing agent.
- Where possible, ensure all equipment is checked prior to use to avoid participants having to adjust or touch it.
- No personal equipment should be left at the facility by the participant once activity has ended.
Communication with Members
- 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.
- Ensure members are aware in advance of any new measures being put in place at the club and new guidelines they need to follow.
- Communicate clearly opening times and how people can safely access a facility, if relevant, for example through a booking or queuing system.
- When communicating with members, consider how you will reach people who do not have access to the internet.
- Ensure signs on guidelines for participating safely and promoting hygiene measures are clearly displayed and up to date.
- Special consideration should be given to how you communicate physical distancing rules to young people.
Test and Protect
- Test and Protect, is Scotland’s way of putting into practice NHS Scotland’s test, trace, isolate and support strategy.
- Containing outbreaks early is crucial to reduce the spread of COVID-19, protect the NHS and save lives, and avoid the reintroduction of social and economic lockdown. This will support the country to return to, and maintain, a more normal way of life.
- Maintaining records for contact tracing:
- It is a mandatory requirement that clubs collect the name, contact number, date of visit, time of arrival, and where possible the departure time of all those attending facilities or activities. Where attending as a small household group, the contact details for one member – a ‘lead member’ – will be sufficient.
- Clubs should store information for 21 days and share it when requested to do so by public health officers.
- A leaflet providing information on the Test and Protect service from NHS Scotland is also available here.
- Registration with the Information Commissioner's Office:
- In order to gather and store personal information securely, sports clubs may need to be registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), particularly if you are collecting personal data from non-members.
If you are unsure whether you need to register, please contact the ICO via their helpline on 0303 123 1113, or visit www.ico.org.uk.
5. Guidance for Rowing in Crew Boats
Clubs should recognise that some members may not feel comfortable rowing in crew boats and any crew boat rowing should be subject to all individuals understanding the risk and agreeing to follow the procedures below.
The club COVID officer must carry out a documented risk assessment prior to any crew boat activity taking place and is responsible for ensuring all appropriate mitigations are in place.
The following procedures should be followed by all clubs.
- Crew boat rowing counts as close contact for the purposes of contact tracing and in the event of an occurrence of the virus being diagnosed in a crew member this would result in those individuals in adjacent seats having to self-isolate. Participants must be made aware of this and clubs should ask participants to “opt-in” to any crew boat activity. For juniors, parental consent to participate in crew boat rowing should be obtained.
- Clubs should aim to have the same crew boat combination wherever possible to minimise the number of different close interactions rowers will have with each other. Scratch composites are strongly discouraged.
- Clubs may wish to allocate particular boats/equipment to particular groups or sets of groups to minimise equipment sharing.
- Clubs must maintain attendance records of all crews 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.
- All participants must maintain 2m physical distancing before and after the on-water activity e.g. while retrieving equipment and launching.
- Boating times should be staggered to ensure that the group size restrictions in operation and physical distancing are adhered to before and after the organised session/activity.
- When retrieving the boat from boat storage areas, the minimum number of people required to safely lift the boat should be used and 2m physical distancing should be maintained. This may mean that different carrying positions may be needed.
- Outing duration should be kept to a minimum and we advise limiting participants to one crew boat session in a day.
- While rowing, crews should aim to maintain the maximum distance between rowers at all times e.g. avoid having half the crew row while the other crew sit the boat.
- Rowers should avoid shouting (or spitting) to reduce the risk of droplet transmission.
- As soon as a participant has completed training, a competition or event, they should leave the venue.
- Effective hand hygiene and thorough cleaning protocols should be followed before, during and after outings.
Guidance for Coxswains (“Coxes”)
Coxes are in closer proximity to the bow of the crew in bow loaders and in stern-loaders are sat face to face. For that reason, there is an increased risk of transmission between a cox and rower. In addition to the guidance for crew boat rowing, this section provides additional guidance for coxes.
- As for rowers, clubs should ask coxes to “opt-in” to any crew boat activity.
- Coxes must wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) as follows:
- Coxes are advised to wear a face-covering during the launching process.
- In a stern loader - coxes should wear both a face covering and eye protection - this eye protection could be goggles, sunglasses or a face visor (a visor protects both eyes and additionally keeps the face covering dry).
- In a bow loader - coxes should wear a face covering.
- Coxing equipment (e.g. cox boxes) should be used to avoid the need for shouting but equipment (including lifejackets) should not be shared between different coxes wherever possible.
- Where it is unavoidable to share equipment, it should be cleaned between uses and a record of what equipment has been shared and by whom should be maintained.
- Coxes must sanitise their hands before touching cox boxes, life jackets or boats and again when these are put away.
- The microphone of the cox box headset must be worn outside of the cox’s mask.
- If gloves are worn, a clean pair must be worn for each outing.
- Cox seat, steering wires, cox box and headset must be wiped with a sanitising wipe before and after each outing.
- Clubs should keep the same crew rowing together wherever possible to minimise the number of different close interactions rowers will have with each other, therefore coxes should, wherever possible, only cox the same crew. Where this is unavoidable, clubs should limit coxes to coxing one crew per day.
6. 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 10 days and household members for 10 days as per NHS guidance. No one who is self-isolating should attend a sports facility/activity.
Participants should be aware of their local area protection level and associated restrictions which may be in place and should check ahead with their club to ensure they understand what is and is not available. Please be patient and respectful of local challenges. The latest Scottish Government information is available at Scottish Government: Coronavirus in Scotland.
Familiarisation with club rules
Your club will be updating their safety policy and operating procedures regularly 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 to support Test and Protect
Before leaving home
- 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.
- Ensure you are prepared for rowing before leaving your house (in training kit, with appropriate footwear e.g. wellies etc.).
- Wear a facemask/covering where this is recommended by government advice.
- Travel guidance outlined by the Scottish Government should always be followed. Further information on what travel is permitted in the five protection levels for each local authority area is available at Coronavirus (COVID-19): local protection levels . Specific information on car sharing is available from Transport Scotland: advice on how to travel safely.
- 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.
- If driving, park your car in such a way as to facilitate physical distancing.
At the Boathouse
- Maintain physical distancing (2m) from people outside of your household at all times.
- Avoid touching shared surfaces where possible.
- 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.
- You 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.
- Use your own clearly marked equipment.
- Thoroughly wash any equipment you will be using with appropriate cleaning products before and after your session. You do not know who may have been in contact with it or how well it was cleaned.
- 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.
- Do not loiter around the club facilities and depart as soon as you have finished washing.
Health & Hygiene
- It is mandatory for participants and visitors to indoor sports facilities to wear face coverings before and after activity or when in non-playing areas of the facility such as boat storage, unless there is a reasonable excuse not to do so (e.g. if you have a health condition or you are disabled, including hidden disabilities such as autism, dementia or a learning disability).
- If you are deaf and need to look at lips and facial expressions to help you communicate, you can ask staff to remove their face covering.
- Face coverings do not need to be worn when undertaking physical activity, exercise or showering.
- If you are not wearing a face covering and 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.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Maintain good hand hygiene before, during and after your activity. Information on hand hygiene is available at: Health Protection Scotland: Hand hygiene techniques
7. Guidance for Coaches
The guidance below is to support coaches, leaders, deliverers and instructors. In addition, please see Getting Coaches Ready for Sport which provides a 4-stage approach/checklist to help coaches get ready for delivering sport and physical activity. It can be used as it is or amended to reflect the sport or delivery activity.
Coaches should be aware that local restrictions may be in place for sport and physical activity and this should be considered as part of risk assessment planning and will dictate what activity can be coached, indoors and outdoors and to whom. See the Strategic Framework Table for further information about protection levels.
Coaches should ensure the following guidance is followed.
- Coaches operating within shared or third-party facilities should liaise with the relevant COVID officer before undertaking any activity and should adhere to any facility and Scottish Rowing guidance.
- Coaches and others supporting organised sporting or physical activity should attempt to keep physically distant, but it is recognised that this will not always be possible to ensure the safety of participants. In such circumstances the responsible COVID Officer should consider appropriate mitigating actions as part of the risk assessment.
- Coaches can run organised outdoor group training sessions in protection Levels 0-3 in line with maximum bubble sizes outlined in the Sport & Physical Activity Protection Levels table or as determined by the risk assessment for the activity and Scottish Government (COVID-19): guidance on the opening of indoor and outdoor sport and leisure facilities. They should also ensure to follow specific guidance on sporting bubbles within this document.
- In protection Level 4 coaches can:
- run organised outdoor non-contact group training sessions for a maximum of 15 people aged 18 or over (including coaches) subject to local risk assessment.
- run organised outdoor contact and non-contact group training sessions for a maximum of 15 children under 12-17 years of age (including coaches) subject to local risk assessment. This applies up to and including the 25th April 2021. Thereafter only non-contact sport or physical activity should take place at Level 4.
- run organised outdoor contact and non-contact group training sessions for a maximum of 30 children under 12 years of age (including coaches) subject to local risk assessment.
- Coaches can take multiple indoor sessions per day (where protection levels allow), however the numbers allowed in each session will depend upon the protection level restrictions in place in the given location.
- Risk assessments should be carried out and documented at all sites considering:
- particularly minimising the risk of infection/transmission. Appropriate physical distancing and hygiene measures must be put in place to ensure participants are always protected.
- the competence of the rower(s) or sculler(s), the activity being undertaken, the local conditions and the need to minimise the risk of capsize.
- 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. A Scottish Rowing membership includes insurance cover for rowing coaches.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Coaches operating outdoors should consider carrying additional safety equipment such as a mask, gloves and hand sanitizer for use in the event of an emergency.
- Face coverings must be worn by coaches when indoors, except where an exemption applies. For instance;
- where an individual has a health condition or is disabled, including hidden disabilities, for example, autism, dementia or a learning disability.
- or if there is a reasonable excuse not to wear a face covering such as;
- where there is difficulty in communicating with participants who may not be close by and safety is an issue i.e. in a swimming lesson. In such cases alternative measures should be considered such as use of a face visor.
- being physically active or exercising as part of the coached session.
- Communication with participants, and where relevant parents or guardians, is important and should be planned for:
- Coaches should ensure they have an approach to activity that is feasible to deliver safely.
- Participants should know what to do before/during/after attending their coached session.
- Virtual coaching is still permitted, and you should consult the Scottish Rowing Guidance for Online Training.
8. Guidance for Competition Organisers
• At Level 4 of the Scottish Government’s Strategic Framework, inter club competition is not permitted.
• At Levels 0-3, inter club competition can take place subject to the specific guidance at each level.
• Event organisers and competitors should be aware of their local area protection level and associated restrictions which may be in place and should consider this as part of their risk assessment planning.
• Competitions must operate in a way that is consistent with other aspects of Return to Rowing guidance.
Guidance for levels 0-3
1. All competitions must abide by Scottish Rowing guidance and have a named ‘COVID Officer’ who should ensure completion of documented risk assessments and ensure all appropriate mitigations are put in place. Contact details of COVID officers should be submitted to the Scottish Rowing office. This can be the club COVID officer.
2. For the purposes of this guidance a competition is a planned and organised group of one or more events involving competitors from more than one club. An event may be a race or series of races leading to a final decision (whether based on times or side-by-side racing) or a set of skills-based challenges.
3. Test & Protect: Competition organisers must record the contact details of all participants, volunteers & staff at competitions for the purposes of contact tracing. Further information on Test & Protect can be found in this guidance.
4. On-Water Competition
4.1. Event organisers may run closed or open events.
4.2. Open events will only be sanctioned by Scottish Rowing where the event organiser can demonstrate the event will be COVID compliant.
4.3. Closed events are restricted to private matches between two clubs, events open to only school or university clubs, or invitational events of up to 4 clubs when approved by the Scottish Rowing Board. See rules E2 of the Scottish Rowing rules of racing for further details.
4.4. Competition organisers wishing to run open events should contact the Scottish Rowing office (email@example.com) a minimum of 20 working days before the opening of entries for the event.
• You do not need to have a fully formed event plan before contacting us, we encourage organisers to get in touch at the earliest stages of planning their events.
4.5. Competition should only be offered for boat classes permitted in the Return to Rowing Guidance.
5. Participants in closed inter-club competitions (run under Rule E2 of the Scottish Rowing rules of racing) are strongly encouraged to have a Scottish Rowing Membership. Scottish Rowing membership provides public liability insurance for individuals undertaking rowing activity. Insurance provided through individual club membership may not provide cover for inter-club competition.
6. Indoor rowing competitions are not governed by the Scottish Rowing Rules of Racing, but event organisers planning to run an indoor event should first contact the Scottish Rowing office (firstname.lastname@example.org) a minimum of 20 working days before the opening of entries for the event.
7. Physical Distancing
7.1. Physical distancing in line with Scottish Government guidelines must be in place before and after a competition takes place with participants and support staff asked to immediately vacate the event site after they have completed the competition.
7.2. No formal presentation ceremonies should take place during or after an event and the focus should be on reducing numbers in attendance at any one time.
7.3. Coaches and others supporting organised activity should attempt to keep physically distant where possible, but it is recognised that this will not always be possible. In such circumstances the responsible ‘COVID Officer’ should consider appropriate mitigating actions as part of the risk assessment.
7.4. Where an employee is involved in running the competition, relevant work placed risk assessments and consultation should take place in advance of any activity being undertaken. See the Businesses, workplaces and self-employed people section at Scottish Govt: Covid-19.
7.5. Parents/guardians who are supervising their children should abide by Scottish Government physical distancing guidance and stay at least 2m away from those out with their own household. Groups of parents from different households should not congregate before, during or after the activity.
8. Participant numbers and duration of competition
8.1. In outdoor competition, an event site should be defined that is a single well-defined area encompassing the area which competitors and race officials use to prepare for, administer, or take part in the competition. This would include areas such as:
a) The body of water used for racing
b) Any areas used by competitors to prepare their equipment
c) Launching/landing stages
d) Areas used to store equipment used in the competition
e) Any facilities (e.g. toilets, changing rooms) accessed by participants
8.2. In indoor competitions, the event site is a designated part of the facility which is set aside for use by competitors and officials for the competition.
8.3. The competition organiser should consider how they will ensure compliance with all COVID guidelines within the event site. They should also consider how the event will impact the area around their event site (for example, gatherings of spectators) to ensure the event does not pose a risk to public health.
8.4. Where multiple host venues are used for the same competition (for example, multiple boathouses on the same stretch of river), each venue should have its own defined event site that is not accessed by competitors from other venues.
8.5. The event site should only be accessed by those taking part in the competition.
8.6. At Level 0-3 when participating in organised rowing competition, government guidance permits the formation of bubbles. The bubble size for each level is set out in the Sport & Physical Activity Restrictions table and includes coaches, officials and other support staff).
• The purpose of a bubble is to: allow those within the bubble to field different combinations of crews; allow for sharing of equipment; facilitate communication between individuals within a bubble.
• Physical distancing should be maintained except when preparing to race (e.g. rigging/derigging/moving equipment pre/post race) or while out on the water.
• Each bubble should be given a dedicated space on the event site and individuals should remain inside a designated space for their bubble when not racing or accessing facilities (car parking, drinking water etc.)
• Bubbles should be assigned in advance of the competition and communicated to all involved.
a) An individual bubble can be made of any combination of competitors, coaches, support staff, officials and others as necessary to run the competition.
b) An example set up for rowing competition:
• Individual bubbles for each club (or combined bubbles for smaller clubs) that includes all their competitors, coaches & other volunteers.
• A bubble for umpires.
• A bubble for the race control officials.
• An Individual can only be in one bubble per day.
• Crew boats should only be made up of individuals from within the same bubble.
• Crews are not deemed to be mixing whilst on the water, and crews from multiple bubbles may be on the water at the same time.
• See the section below on “Health, safety & hygiene measures” for information on how first aid and water safety cover can operate at an event with multiple bubbles.
• Event organisers should pay close attention to how people will move around their event site and how they will prevent individuals from different bubbles mixing. Event organisers must consider:
a) How they will control access to the event site.
b) How they will mark out areas on the event site for each bubble.
c) How they will use signage to facilitate the management of bubbles and people flow around the site.
d) How they will manage “pinch points” – e.g. launching and landing, toilets, changing rooms, parking (etc) and how these will be accessed by individuals in different bubbles in ways which prevent mixing of bubbles.
8.7. Once an individual has completed their activity, they should immediately vacate the event site and are then subject to normal household rules.
8.8. Where sports competitions or events are planned and include multiple bubbles; operators and organisers should, as part of their risk assessment, consult with relevant local authorities, environmental health, the police, or other body responsible for the safety of the public. Agreement must be reached with these bodies before the event or competition takes place.
8.9. While physical and social distancing can be suspended during competition, organisers should still put mitigations in place to reduce the number of contacts and the closeness of contact during competition where possible.
8.10. The total number of competitors at any competition should be risk assessed by clubs and determined by factors including:
• In level 3, a maximum bubble size of 30 (bubble sizes below level 3 are yet to be confirmed by the Scottish Government). This includes coaches, competitors, race officials, parents, and anyone else involved in the competition.
• In level 3, a maximum of 200 people per day (event sizes below level 3 are yet to be confirmed by the Scottish Government).
• Where a competition might take place with competitors based at more than one site (for example, on a river with multiple boathouses), the session limit applies to the number of competitors in the whole competition, across each site.
• The availability of sites for bubbles to launch and land boats from.
• The amount of space available to house competition bubbles.
• The logistical challenges presented by increasing numbers of competition bubbles and individuals.
• The available space on the water.
• The available space for parking
8.11. Virtual events which are run as either live competitions over the internet or as submission-based competitions can operate with no limit on competitor numbers provided competitors are competing from their own home. Where a virtual competition involves venues with multiple competitors, each venue should individually follow the guidance in this document.
8.12. The focus should be on delivering the competition with as few participants as possible in attendance at any given time, whilst still allowing the activity to run safely and effectively. Competition should be designed and organised to minimise the amount of time participants are on site and the number of interactions they have with other people while they are there.
8.13. Spectating, other than by a parent/guardian or coach should not be permitted.
9. Availability of indoor facilities and catering/hospitality during competition should be in line with guidance provided within the relevant section of this document.
10. Health, safety & hygiene measures for all activity, including provision for cleaning of equipment, should be in line with guidance provided within the relevant section of this guidance.
10.1. Competition organisers should ensure that there is a sufficient level of safety cover for the activity, number, and level of competence of participants.
10.2. Risk assessment should aim to minimise risk of capsize and/or need for rescue considering competency, conditions and class of boat.
In the event of first aid treatment being required it is recognised that a suitably qualified person, coach, or supervising adult may require to attend to the injured participant. The event COVID Officer should consider processes for managing this as part of the risk assessment.
9. Appendix 1 - Level 4 Guidance
- This guidance applies to sport and physical activity facilities and activities where Scottish Government have identified the requirement for Level 4 restrictions to be applied.
- This guidance is not applicable to professional or performance sports activity which is approved through the ‘Resumption of Performance Sport’ process by Scottish Government or sportscotland.
- Rowing activity can take place in a club setting subject to the specific guidance for Level 4 as set out in the Sport &Physical Activity Protection Levels table below. However all activity is subject to the group size restrictions set out in paragraphs 10-15.
- It is the responsibility of the club / COVID officer to ensure that full risk assessments, processes and mitigating actions are in place before any rowing activity takes place and to check if the activity is in an area which is subject to additional Scottish Government localised measures and restrictions.
- Where a local outbreak has been reported clubs should review their facility/operational risk assessment and consider if additional mitigating actions should be put in place to reduce risk. This may, for example, include; suspending activity, enhancing hygiene and physical distancing measures or introducing additional activity restrictions.
- Be aware that the Scottish Government may update or change Levels and restrictions at any time, including the local areas subject to them. Therefore, COVID officers should regularly check Scottish Government advice and guidance relating to local outbreaks and measures at Coronavirus (COVID-19): local advice and measures.
- When taking part in sport, exercise or recreation participants should at all times follow the Scottish Government Local Protection Levels guidance.
- Travel restrictions are in place and participants should consult the Sport & Physical Activity Protection Levels table for more information.
Outdoor Sport & Leisure Activity
- Operators in Level 4 areas may continue to open outdoor sports areas and facilities if documented risk assessments are undertaken and all appropriate mitigating actions including the guidance herein is put in place to ensure the safety of participants, staff and volunteers. Please also refer to additional guidance produced by sportscotland at: Getting Your Facilities Fit for Sport.
- Restrictions on the number of people who can take part in sport, exercise and recreation has been updated and is as follows;
- Children(aged up to 11 years) can take part in outdoor contact and non-contact sport including training, group exercise and competition within their usual club or facility environment. Inter club competition should not take place. An outdoor sporting “field of play bubble can consist of up to 30 people including children, coaches and officials and any one time (subject to the normal risk assessment for the activity).
- People aged 12 and over can take part in organised outdoor non-contact sport including training, group exercise and competition within their usual club or facility environment. Inter club competition should not take place.
- An outdoor sporting “field of play” bubble can consist of up to 15 people including coaches and officials and any one time (subject to the normal risk assessment for the activity). Physical distancing should always be maintained
- Where there are multiple bubbles operating at the same venue these must be risk assessed to ensure there can be no mixing of participants before, during or after the activity. Specific Mitigations could include staggered start times, limiting car parking or controlling access/egress points.
- Informal exercise should follow the Scottish Government Local Protection Levels Guidance on normal household rules.
Indoor Sport & Leisure Facilities
- Indoor sport and leisure facilities including club houses, changing rooms and activity areas should remain closed at Level 4. Exemptions are available as noted below.
- Public Toilets
- Operators may open indoor toilets for public use if they follow Scottish Government Opening Public Toilets Guidelines.
- Public toilets are defined as any toilets accessible to the public. The opening of toilets should be accompanied by local risk assessment, and control measures should be proactively monitored by operators.
- All appropriate cleaning procedures and equipment/disinfectant should be provided as per Health Protection Scotland guidance.
- Storage Areas & Lockers
- One off access to storage areas and locker rooms is permitted to retrieve personal equipment which is essential for an activity to be undertaken. Personal equipment should not be returned to these areas.
- Access to boat storage areas to retrieve and return equipment such as boats, blades etc. is allowed if appropriate risk assessments are undertaken.
- Clubs may permit access to storage for privately owned equipment (or equipment which has been allocated for sole use) for informal exercise provided such access has been risk assessed and procedures are in place to manage access in line with facilities guidance.
- Risk assessments should include mitigating actions to reduce the risk of virus transmission such as individual access, booking slots and cleaning/hygiene protocols.
- Where external access to outdoor sports facilities is not possible, access through an indoor area can be provided 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.
- Additional restrictions are in place for hospitality businesses within Level 4 areas subject to bar and café closures. Sports facility operators providing catering or bar services should refer to Scottish Government guidance for applicable guidance including takeaway services. Coronavirus (COVID-19): tourism and hospitality sector guidance.
4th May 2021