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
Operational guide and checklist

Operational guide and checklist

We have developed an operational checklist that we recommend operators follow to ensure the health and safety of workers and participants is protected.

Specific facility operational guides which will be available on the sportscotland website at Getting your facility fit for sport as well as sport specific information on how to operate within the relevant guidance

Enhanced hygiene

Enhanced hygiene measures should be a key plank of measures to create a safe environment, including for example:

  • using signage to build awareness of: good handwashing technique; and the need to increase handwashing frequency, avoid touching your face, cough or sneeze into a tissue which is binned safely, or into your arm if a tissue is not available and perform hand hygiene after this
  • sanitiser and hand-washing facilities at key points, including on entry and exit points
  • additional sanitiser and handwash facilities at communal areas
  • minimising the use of touchpoints throughout buildings, including exploring where possible how digital processes or systems may replace the need for face-to-face discussion 
  • ensure regular detergent cleaning schedules and procedures are in place, using a product which is active against bacteria and viruses, including considering how often and where deep cleans may be required
  • setting clear use and cleaning guidance for toilets to ensure they are kept clean and physical distancing is achieved where possible - Scottish Government has published guidance on opening public and customer toilets.

Physical distancing

Physical distancing is the other key plank of workplace-specific measures to create a safe working environment. Physical distancing measures will be slowly eased to enable us to operate in a less restricted way.

When areas move down to Level 0, the following changes will apply:

  • physical distancing of 1m in outdoor settings
  • physical distancing of 1m in indoor settings

Physical distancing requirements will be removed when all areas in Scotland move beyond Level 0.

Factors employers and facility operators will want to consider include:

  • facility layout and signage with clear marking of physical distancing when necessary around the facility and signage which reinforces expectations of employees at relevant points (as English may not be the first language for everyone, companies should consider how best to use visual material to reinforce messages)
  • limiting access to parts of the facility required by an individual to do their job as this will limit the chances for interaction with others
  • staggering entry and exit times to prevent bottlenecks arising as people arrive or leave
  • staggering break times and adjusting canteen arrangements to reduce opportunities for larger numbers of staff to interact on a face to face basis
  • splitting the workforce into specific teams to avoid cross-team contamination and provide a level of operational resilience in case someone in one team develops COVID-19 symptoms
  • considering opportunities to introduce additional technology support and systems to assist in managing the safe working practices and in particular physical distancing

Changing rooms and showers

Facility operators and providers are permitted to fully reopen changing rooms and shower facilities  Where changing rooms and showers are to be used, it is important that the appropriate physical distancing, hygiene and cleaning guidance set out in sportscotlands Changing and Shower operators guidance is strictly followed.

Prior to the opening of a facility, it is the responsibility of the operator to undertake a documented risk assessment, based on their local circumstances.  Consider safety first, particularly focusing on minimising the risk of infection/transmission.

If facility operators carry out a risk assessment and deem it safe, they can re-open changing facilities including showers however they should follow the specific guidance for Getting your facilities fit for sport  which is available on the sportscotland website. 

Saunas and steam rooms

This section is intended to help operators prepare for the re-opening of these facilities.

  • facilities should operate with appropriate physical distancing at Levels 0-2 in place, including marked seating points in each room.
  • where possible, guests should be given fixed times and staggered slots to enter the sauna or steam room.
  • increase air flow and air changes to the maximum safe level.
  • ensure that saunas, steam rooms and any equipment are cleaned regularly. This should include the beginning and end of the day and at regular intervals in-between, and where possible between users. You should consider how to manage this in your risk assessment. You can find more information in the sections on keeping the site clean and COVID-19 risk assessments.

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