Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): sport and leisure facilities

Guidance for indoor and outdoor sport and leisure facilities.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): sport and leisure facilities
Assessing risk

Assessing risk

Involving the workforce in a risk-based approach 

As a minimum we expect:

  • an equality human rights and risk-based approach to be followed to protect health and safety of employees, self-employed, volunteers (herein referred to as ‘workforce’) and customers/participants (herein referred to as participants) and to ensure the longer-term economic viability of the operator
  • the workforce and volunteers to be fully engaged in that process, through trade union or specified representatives

The Health and Safety Executive’s  short guide Working Safely Guide can help to support employers/facility operators with what they need to do to comply with the law. 

Carrying out a robust risk assessment with full workforce involvement (of recognised trade union or other identified safety representatives) will identify the practical measures that can be put in place to minimise the spread of the virus at a workplace/facility. 

Considerations to ensure you are preparing your facility should be developed in consultation with the workforce and updated on an ongoing basis. That planning must be based around risk assessments and safe systems of work including physical distancing, hygiene and fair work principles that protect workers and participants health and well-being.

A nominated COVID-19 officer should be in place for each organisation or facility to ensure all appropriate management processes and mitigations are in place to effectively oversee and maintain the implementation of measures outlined in this guidance document. Sportscotland have developed an e-learning module to provide COVID Officers with key information and guidance to support your organisation to return safely to the delivery of sport and physical activity.

While operators should make every reasonable effort to enable working from home as a first option it is recognised that many sport and leisure facility workers will deliver operations on site.  Workplace risk assessment should therefore consider health and hygiene measures that need to be put in place to protect employees before a facility opens.  This could, for instance, include staggered working to minimise the number of people in an office at any one time.


First published: 30 Oct 2020 Last updated: 19 Jul 2021 -