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Swimmers face strict rules when pools reopen after months on lockdown

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swimmers face strict rules when pools reopen after months on lockdown

Swimmers will be asked to arrive to pools with their costumes under their clothes and to avoid the butterfly stroke under new guidelines unveiled yesterday.

Swim England, the sport’s governing body, said the guidelines focus on ‘reducing the risk of Covid-19 transmission within the swimming pool environment’.

The rulebook has been developed with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport ahead of a government decision on the reopening of pools.

Pools, gyms and leisure centres, which were among the first facilities in the UK to close in March, are not expected to reopen before July 4. 

Entitled ‘Returning To The Pool’, the guidelines tell swimmers not to arrive to any pool if they display any symptoms of the coronavirus.

They also tell people to arrive to facilities ‘ready to swim’, explaining that they should ‘shower at home, pre and post swimming’.

A paragraph explains: ‘Showers may be available at the facility but by arriving wearing your swimwear under your clothing and showering at home pre and post swimming you will help minimise time spent in the changing rooms’.

Swim England said the guidelines focus on 'reducing the risk of Covid-19 transmission within the swimming pool environment' (pictured, Clissold Leisure Centre, Hackney)

Swim England said the guidelines focus on 'reducing the risk of Covid-19 transmission within the swimming pool environment' (pictured, Clissold Leisure Centre, Hackney)

Swim England said the guidelines focus on ‘reducing the risk of Covid-19 transmission within the swimming pool environment’ (pictured, Clissold Leisure Centre, Hackney)

This requirement should also ‘help maintain the water quality’, the rulebook states.

Swimmers must also not ‘make physical contact with other participants’ and they must ‘not overtake whilst swimming’, according to Swim England.  

They must ‘follow the directional signs and move across to the appropriate lane for each length’, while they should ‘always attempt to maintain appropriate social distance between (yourself) and another swimmer’.

Wide strokes, such as the butterfly stroke, ‘should be avoided when the lanes become busy’, the guidelines state.

If swimmers change to a slower stroke, they should ‘think about moving lanes’.  

When stopping for a rest or to catch their breath, swimmers must keep to the edge of the lane, turn their head away and keep their distance.  

Jane Nickerson, the chief executive of Swim England, said the reopening of pools ‘will not be a case of “business as usual”‘, adding that ‘it is important we follow the latest guidance and adjust to the new “normal”‘.

Jane Nickerson, the chief executive of Swim England, said the reopening of pools 'will not be a case of "business as usual"' (pictured, young swimmer doing the butterfly stroke)

Jane Nickerson, the chief executive of Swim England, said the reopening of pools 'will not be a case of "business as usual"' (pictured, young swimmer doing the butterfly stroke)

Jane Nickerson, the chief executive of Swim England, said the reopening of pools ‘will not be a case of “business as usual”‘ (pictured, young swimmer doing the butterfly stroke)

In a foreword to the guidelines, she said: ‘We have all been missing the water during the Covid-19 enforced closure of swimming pools. For many of our members across all our disciplines, this will have been the longest period out of the water, which can take a toll on both our physical and mental wellbeing.

‘As the recognised national governing body, Swim England is therefore delighted to be able to produce this guidance to help ensure the safe return to the water once swimming pools are allowed to open once more.

‘Our first priority remains the safety of everyone involved in our sports, be they participants, leisure centre staff, coaches or volunteers. 

‘We will at all times be led by the latest government guidance and regulations. This guidance has been produced in collaboration with experts from across the sector and I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to its creation.

‘When pools reopen, it will not be a case of “business as usual” and we know that things will have to be different, but if we are to play our part in protecting the NHS from another wave of Covid-19 admissions, it is important we follow the latest guidance and adjust to the new “normal”. 

‘Swim England will continue to push for more financial support for the swimming sector to ensure we can all continue to enjoy the sports we love.’ 

In further guidance for swimming clubs, Swim England: ‘Equipment should be cleaned in between use. Submerging equipment in adequately disinfected swimming pool water will reduce the risk of transmission of enveloped viruses.’

Capacity should be managed so that each swimmer has six square metres of space, while pool operators should keep their pools well ventilated.

They may need to designate exit and entrance-only steps to avoid contact as people climb in and out of the water, the guidelines say.  

Lessons can take place but teachers should remain on the poolside. They have also been advised to make sure that children do not share floats and must allow enough time between lessons to avoid contact between different classes. 

Only one parent should accompany children to a lesson. 

The ‘new normal’: What swimmers can expect when they return to the pool after weeks of lockdown

Booking and timetable

Check the facility website for timetable, user guidance and booking instructions

Before leaving home and on your return

Do not come to the facility if you are showing any symptoms of Covid-19 (temperature, cough, difficulty breathing, or anosmia e.g. loss of taste or smell) 

To reduce time spent in changing areas, consider the following guidance:

  • Arrive ready to swim. Once you have finished your swim, leave the venue as soon as you can;
  • Shower at home, pre and post swimming (showers may be available at the facility but by arriving wearing your swimwear under your clothing and showering at home pre and post swimming you will help minimise time spent in the changing rooms and help maintain the water quality);
  • Check the operator’s instructions on arrival time, parking, travel arrangements and plan your journey accordingly;
  • Take hand sanitiser with you;
  • Take any equipment/aids with you (floats, kick boards etc.) ensuring it is clean and identifiable as yours before you arrive;
  • Ensure you have any booking confirmation required as part of the facility guidance

At the facility

Please follow the operator’s guidance on pre swim arrival, duration of swim and post swim arrangements.

Whilst in the building and the pool, follow the operator’s guidance on social distancing, direction of travel and other risk control measures that are put in place.

Use hand sanitiser/wash stations wherever made available.

Spend as little time as possible in the changing rooms, whilst following the operator’s guidance on maintaining safe levels of distance.

In the pool 

People of different standards and abilities will use the pool. Please respect their right to enjoy their swim. 

Do not make physical contact with other participants.  

Choose your lane using the fast, medium and slow signs and by watching those already swimming. Please do not overtake whilst swimming. Before pushing off at each turn, check to see if anyone faster is approaching. 

Please follow the directional signs and move across to the appropriate side of the lane for each length. 

Always attempt to maintain appropriate social distance between yourself and another swimmer. 

Wide strokes such as butterfly should be avoided when the lanes become busy. If you change to a slower stroke as part of your session, think about moving lanes. 

Whether stopping for a rest or catching your breath after completing your swim, please be mindful that others using the lane will want to keep on swimming without stopping; so keep yourself to the edge of the lane allowing others to turn at the wall, turning head away and allowing others to maintain social distancing measures.

Stay hydrated by bringing your own ‘pre-filled’ water bottle on to poolside during your swim.

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Sainsbury’s security guard crashes to the ground after trying to leap on top of a plastic barrier

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sainsburys security guard crashes to the ground after trying to leap on top of a plastic barrier

A Sainsbury’s security guard had a painfully boring day at work recently – when he made an ill-advised attempt to jump a barrier.

He spectacularly failed to make the jump and toppled backwards onto his head in what looked like an excruciatingly painful fall. 

His attempt was caught on video and has been watched almost 400K times on Twitte – as well as being viewed on TikTok – with users scoring his jump skills and ‘aspiration’.

A Sainsbury's security guard sizes up the plastic orange barrier

He leaps high enough for his feet to touch the top of the barrier

A Sainsbury’s security guard attempts to jump over a plastic orange barrier after first sizing it  up (left)

The video shows the security man wearing a hi-viz waistcoat outside an unidentified  Sainsbury’s store. 

He stands behind an orange plastic barrier used to funnel shoppers in and out of the store and maintain social distancing. 

He readies himself before he makes the jump, as if assessing the barrier’s height. 

Then, with a huge athletic effort, he leaps on top of the barrier from a standing start.

However, as the security guard’s feet hit the top of the barrier they slip forwards and he loses his balance. 

He flips backwards landing headfirst, as the barrier sways violently back and forwards.

He manages to leap on top of the barrier but his feet slip and he loses his balance

The man flips backwards, landing on his head in an excruciatingly painful fall

He manages to leap on top of the barrier but his feet slip and he loses his balance

One Twitter user jokingly gave the jump a score out of ten, writing: ‘8/10 on jump height but 0 on the landing.’

Ruth Topham on Twitter, credited the security man’s efforts to scale the barrier, writing: ’10 out of 10 for aspiration.’ 

However, Tom Pine was more concerned for the plastic barrier involved, joking: ‘I hope the barrier is ok.’

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An E-scooter rider has his vehicle seized after being caught on the M3 MOTORWAY

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an e scooter rider has his vehicle seized after being caught on the m3 motorway

 An e-scooter rider in his 50s has his vehicle seized and is slapped with six points on his driving license, after being caught by police driving down a motorway.

The driver was pulled over by officers while on the hard shoulder of the M3 in Hampshire.

He had been spotted joining the southbound carriageway near Eastleigh from the sliproad before police stopped him.

He was slapped with a fine, given six points on his driving licence and had his scooter seized.

The rider was stopped on the M3 in Hampshire and had his vehicle seized by Hampshire Police

The rider was stopped on the M3 in Hampshire and had his vehicle seized by Hampshire Police

Hampshire Constabulary warned that e-scooters are illegal to use on public roads and footpaths.

A post on the Hants Roads Policing Twitter account said: ‘Unbelievably the rider of this e-scooter thought it was ok to ride on the M3 near Eastleigh…. yes, the motorway!

‘They have been issued with a fine, 6 points on their driving licence and the scooter seized for no insurance.

‘Just a reminder that they are illegal to use on public roads and footpaths unless rented as part of the trial zones.

‘You risk getting points, fine and your scooter being seized if used illegally.’

The Government is currently conducting a trial of electric, or e-scooter, rental fleets in cities across the country with a view to legalisation.

It was reported last week that e-scooters could even be fitted with number plates after warnings that antisocial behaviour related to their use is on the rise. 

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At least 30 staff at Wetherspoons in Liverpool isolating after 12 workers tested positive for Covid

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at least 30 staff at wetherspoons in liverpool isolating after 12 workers tested positive for covid

At least 30 staff at a Wetherspoons pub in Liverpool have been forced to self-isolate after 12 workers have tested positive for Covid-19.

The outbreak among staff at the Lime Kiln in Concert Square has been reported to Public Health England by the firm.

Pub bosses said that they had received no reports of transmission between staff and customers, the Liverpool Echo reported.

They insisted that a ‘rigorous implementation of hygiene standards’ had been in place at the city-centre pub, which remains open.

At least 30 Wetherspoons staff at the Lime Kiln (above) in Concert Square, Liverpool, are being forced to self-isolate for 14 days after 12 workers tested positive for Covid-19

At least 30 Wetherspoons staff at the Lime Kiln (above) in Concert Square, Liverpool, are being forced to self-isolate for 14 days after 12 workers tested positive for Covid-19

A spokesman added that it is believed a ‘private event’ attended by some members of staff outside work may be linked to the outbreak. 

The Lime Kiln was told of its first two coronavirus cases among staff on September 16, with the affecting employees being told to self-isolate along with 20 others thought to have been in close contact with them.

Another ten positive cases among staff were identified on September 18 and 19, leading to more employees being forced into self-isolation for 14 days.

Close contact is being defined by JD Wetherspoon as coming within two metres of the affected person for 15 minutes or more, or coming within one metre for one minute or more, a spokesman said. 

The spokesman said Public Health England had been told of the initial four cases and would be updated about the other positive test results.

The pub firm have said that they will work with health bosses if any measures are recommended.

NHS Test and Trace have also received the details of the workers who have tested positive after contacting the pub. 

The spokesman said: ‘A number employees attended a private event outside of work, which, we believe, may be linked to the cases. At the pub, social distancing rules are in place, which minimises risk of transmission.

A JD Wetherspoon spokesman said that they believe a 'private event' attended by some members of staff outside work may be linked to the outbreak

A JD Wetherspoon spokesman said that they believe a ‘private event’ attended by some members of staff outside work may be linked to the outbreak

‘We appreciate that there may be some concerns from customers, but the company has not been informed of any cases of infections being transmitted from staff to customers at the pub.

‘We understand that all the employees who tested positive have experienced mild symptoms and we wish them well. 

‘Since reopening, Wetherspoon has operated comprehensive social distancing and hygiene practices in all its pubs.

‘These include; reduced capacity levels, the spacing out of tables, the installation of a number of floor screens between tables and the addition of till-surround screens to the bar. Staff are conducting regular surface cleaning and numerous hand sanitisers have been installed in each pub.

‘While it is not possible to create an entirely risk-free environment, adherence to social distancing guidelines and rigorous implementation of hygiene standards minimises the risk.’

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