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Swim England issues its interpretation of how new tiers will affect aquatic activity

Swim England has issued its interpretation on how the new tiered restrictions will affect its disciplines, club activity, elite athletes, Learn to Swim lessons and aquatics classes.

The recognised national governing body has been waiting for more than a week for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to issue its latest guidance following the announcement that the second national lockdown will end on Wednesday 2 December.

In the absence of this information from the DCMS – and with the new measures set to come into force from tomorrow – Swim England has detailed its current understanding of the new regulations and is encouraging people to refer to its Returning to the Pool Guidance.

Swim England cannot give 100 per cent clarity on how the new measures will impact all areas until the DCMS updates the Government guidance but our understanding of the current situation is as follows:

Casual swimming

  • Pools are able to remain open in all tiers. Casual swimming is allowed for both under 18s and people aged 18 and over in all tiers.

Clubs

  • Under 18s and athletes with disabilities are exempt from the restrictions in all tiers. This is exactly the same as before the second national lockdown. Please follow Swim England’s Returning to the Pool Guidance for clubs.
  • If you were under 18 on 31 August 2020, you are classed as being under 18 for the 2020-21 academic year – even if you turn 18 during this time period.
  • Parent/guardian supervision is permitted (one per swimmer)

Club members aged 18 years old and over

  • Tier one: Activities can continue and the rule of six applies for all disciplines as it did before the second national lockdown. For example, water polo can continue three versus three.
  • Tier two: Swim England’s understanding is that club activity can continue, as long as individuals from different households don’t mix pre, during or post training.  Please follow Swim England’s Returning to the Pool Guidance for clubs. Team sports such as water polo and artistic swimming could continue but only undertaking individual drills that are distanced and involve no interaction.
  • Tier three: No club training can take place.

Elite activity

  • Those eligible to take part in elite training have already been identified by British Swimming. Training is taking place within dedicated environments and only those contacted by British Swimming are classed as elite athletes. The definition of elite activity can be found here.

Learn to Swim

  • Exempt from restrictions in all tiers for under 18s and disabled swimmers. Please follow Swim England’s Returning to the Pool Guidance for swimming lessons. This is the same as before the second national lockdown.
  • It is Swim England’s understanding that lessons where adults get into the pool with their child can continue in all tiers. The adult entering the water with the child needs to be from the same household/support bubble.
  • Parent/guardian supervision is permitted (one per swimmer)

Learn to Swim for adults (18 years old and over)

  • Tier one: Can continue as before the second national lockdown but the rule of six applies.
  • Tier two: Swim England’s understanding is that lessons can continue as long as different households do no mix pre, during or post lesson. Please follow Swim England’s Returning to the Pool Guidance for swimming lessons.
  • Tier three: No group lessons for 18 year olds or over.

Aqua aerobics classes

  • Tier one: Activities can continue and the rule of six applies
  • Tier two: Swim England’s understanding is that group aqua fitness classes activity can continue, as long as individuals from different households don’t mix pre, during or post training.  Please follow Swim England’s Returning to the Pool Guidance.
  • Tier three: Swim England’s understanding is that classes would not be allowed to continue in tier three.

Once the DCMS has published its latest guidelines, Swim England will assess the full details and issue a further update.

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