Coronavirus Update for Surf Schools and Coaches 4/7/20

Covid19 Update: Easing of restrictions and implications for Surf Schools and Coaching

From the 4th July, the Government has eased the lock down restrictions and new guidelines have been produced to support businesses in multiple sectors to re-open.

There is new guidance available for different industrial sectors and a set of practical actions for all business to take, based on 5 main steps:

  1. You must have a Covid 19 risk assessment in place.
    • HSE guidance for risk assessments including templates
    • The Surfing England surf school checklist provides useful framework for surf school specific risks and requirements
    • Make sure you share with your team and display on your website
  1. You must have cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures in place, this includes for boards and wetsuits.
  1. Help people to work from home where possible.
    • Although clearly not possible for surf coaches, schools with dedicated admin functions should actively pursue options for those roles to be delivered remotely
  1. Maintain 2m social distancing where possible.
    • The surf school checklist considers how to maintain social distancing through the surf school operation, which may mean staggering lesson times, additional signage, dedicated waiting spaces and one way systems
  1. Where it is not possible to be more than 2 meters apart, doing everything practical to reduce the transmission risk.
    • Take a risk based approach, in the first instance, consider whether the activity can be avoided or the time it takes reduced
    • Consider what physical interventions can be applied, for example PPE or Perspex screens
    • Consider what process changes you can make, for example staggering lessons or creating separate access points for groups
    • Consider what behavioural interventions can be applied, for example changing working practice to avoid face to face working

Useful Links

The full details on the Governments 5 steps to working safely are here.

The guidance for sports facilities are here.

The Surf School checklist we issued in May (updated 10/7/20) provides a useful framework for your Covid19 risk assessment as well readiness checks and guidance to help you meet the Covid19 requirements, can be found by clicking here > Covid 19 Surf School Checklist PDF

Whilst we all continue to adapt our processes and procedures to the evolving guidance, water safety must continue to remain the number one priority.  If for any reason you feel the usual standards of water safety cannot be met, don’t go out.

Questions and Answers

Can I go back to 1:8 ratios?

No. The guidance for coaches is clear that group size (including coach) must not exceed 6. (See here.)   We understand the financial impact and are lobbying for larger groups in low transmission risk environments, like surf lessons.

Can I run 1:8 group session if they are all from the same household?

No, as per the above, the guidance currently limits coaches to 1:5 irrelevant of how many households are involved.

Can I run sessions for multiple groups of 5 at the same time?

Providing you can still meet the guidance criteria and each group has their own coach and is kept separate.  The other option is to stagger group arrival and lesson times, with cleaning in between.

Can I work with children?  

Yes, you can provide lessons to children and push them into waves, as long as you adhere to the guidance and do everything practical to reduce transmission risk.  If you need to push a client into or through a wave, we recommend holding the tail of the board, enabling the coach to position the client facing away from them and maintaining 1m + or ideally 2m distance from the client’s face.

Can customers carry boards in pairs?

We advise against this, unless from the same household.

If you have further questions, please get in touch:

To view this information in PDF, Click here.

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