Coronavirus - COVID19
Coronavirus & Leisure Centres
Last Updated: 05 Nov 2020
We understand that you may have questions about returning to leisure centres at the moment. We’ve put together some commonly asked questions, based on industry guidance about transmission of Covid-19. We’ve used these to support the changes we’ve made in our centres and will update them if advice changes.
No, there is no current evidence that the virus can be spread by perspiration (sweat). This is supported for non-respiratory fluids by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/faq.html however, limited data is available on sweat/perspiration.
Is a gym ‘dirtier’ than a shop?
Gyms have very high standards when it comes to cleanliness/hygiene and, as we did prior to closing, we will be putting extra measures in place to make sure that both the teams and customers are safe.
How long will COVID-19 stay on equipment for?
While the COVID-19 virus can stay on certain surfaces for up to 2 or 3 days, the most important thing to remember is that it can easily be cleaned with common household disinfectants that will kill the virus. This is already common practice and has been increased.
Furthermore, any virus picked up by your hands needs to be transferred to the mouth/eyes/nose for infection to possibly occur. Avoid hand-to-face contact, wash your hands frequently and use anti-viral/bacterial hand gels to reduce the infection risk.
Can COVID-19 be transmitted in areas with hot and humid climates like swimming pools?
There is no evidence that COVID-19 is any more transmittable in a hot, humid climate than any other climate. The best way to protect yourself against COVID-19 is by maintaining social distancing and frequent hand washing, and the use of anti-viral/bacterial hand gels. By doing this you eliminate any viruses that may be on your hands and avoid infection that could occur by then touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.
Is there a higher risk of aerosol transmission in gyms and leisure facilities than in other indoor environments, and why?
There is no evidence to suggest that gyms and leisure facilities are a higher risk than any other setting. We are taking extra care in areas of the centre where high-intensity aerobic activity takes part in a confined space.
Can COVID-19 be transmitted in the water of a swimming pool and does this increase the risk of transmission? What is the risk in swimming pools?
There is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the water of pools, hot tubs or spas. The chlorine we use to keep the water disinfected kills COVID 19 and all sorts of germs and bugs that are in our daily lives, the water volume washes any virus from the skin so in the pool is one of the safest places to exercise. The risk of transmitting person-to-person remains and all standard guidelines should be adhered to i.e. social distancing while in the pool and surrounding areas.
Is there an increased risk of COVID-19 transmission in a studio compared to the gym floor?
As long as social distancing, cleanliness and the aerosolisation guidelines are followed there is no increased risk.
Do shared water fountains pose an increased risk of COVID-19 transmission?
As long as all touch points are cleaned pre and post use, water fountains are safe.
Do changing rooms/toilets pose an increased risk of COVID-19 transmission?
As long as you follow social distancing and cleanliness guidelines, there is no increased risk.
If a person wears a masks or gloves in a gym or leisure facility will it protect them from COVID-19?
Non-PPE certified masks are not certified to prevent the wearer from contracting COVID-19. They may, however, have some value in preventing the wearer from spreading COVID-19.
Exercising indoors with a face mask may not be appropriate in all cases - a face mask increases the work of breathing which leads to greater ‘respiratory steal’ (oxygen consumption by the respiratory muscles in breathing), and increase the perception of effort (breathing and exercise).
While gloves are useful in some circumstances, in a gym using hand sanitiser and wiping down equipment before and after use is more appropriate.
Does physical activity (exercise) increase resilience to COVID-19, and how?
WHO recommend regular physical activity benefits both the body and mind. It can reduce high blood pressure, help manage weight and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and various cancers - all conditions that can increase susceptibility to COVID-19.
Physical activity leads to improvements in immune health and metabolic health, both of which are linked to COVID risk. Furthermore, physical activity is central in weight management and positive changes in body composition, both of which are linked to COVID-19 risk.
Does air-conditioning raise the risk of transmitting COVID-19?
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have advised that the risk of air conditioning spreading coronavirus is extremely low.