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


This guidance is for the sport and leisure sector. It came into effect from 26 April 2021 and extends until further notice. Guidance will be reviewed on a regular basis as our priority remains containing the spread of the virus, saving lives and safeguarding the NHS. Therefore, restrictions may be reintroduced, and approval may be withdrawn if circumstances change either nationally or locally. 

We have worked with employers, facility operators and trade unions from the sport and leisure sector to ensure that this guidance is evidence-based, fair and ethical, clear and realistic. As each workplace is different it is for individual businesses to work with trade union or workforce representatives to determine how best to apply this guidance in their circumstances.

This document is one of a set of documents about how to work safely in different types of workplace. It offers guidance on how to work, operate and participate in sport and gym/leisure facilities in Scotland. It sets out our expectations on what operators of all sizes and sub-sectors need to consider as part of their planning for restart. The guidance emphasises the importance of undertaking a robust and ongoing risk-based assessment with full input from trade union or workforce representatives, and to keep all risk mitigation measures under regular review so that workplaces continue to feel, and be, safe.

The remainder of this guidance sets out our minimum expectations across three key areas employers and facility operators will need to consider as part of their planning for a restart of facilities while minimising the transmission of the virus:

  • assessing risk - involving the workforce in a risk-based approach to a safer workplace for both staff, customers and participants
  • workforce planning - supporting those who should come to work, and those who should not
  • operational guide and checklist - changing the environment to protect your workforce, customers and participants

This is provided as guidance only and does not amount to legal advice. Employers and facility operators may wish to seek their own advice to ensure compliance with all legal requirements. 

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