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
Workforce planning

Workforce planning

There are other issues that employers and facility operators need to consider to ensure workplaces are inclusive. The Equality and Human Rights Commission can provide advice on a range of issues such as non-discrimination, communication with workers on equality issues, adjustments for disabled people, support for pregnant workers, flexible working for those with caring responsibilities, support for workers affected by domestic abuse, how to deal with harassment at work, and mental health issues.

Supporting those who should come to work, and those who should not 

Nobody should go to work if their workplace is closed under current government regulations.

Those responsible for the management of sport and leisure facilities must take action to minimise the potential for spreading COVID-19 among anyone working/volunteering within the buildings and surrounding grounds.

There should be a particular focus on protecting people who are clinically at risk by ensuring they are able to maintain physical distancing and hand hygiene.

These actions should include:

As a minimum we expect:

  • working from home to continue, where possible
  • health factors to be considered in any phasing of who returns to work, with employees living in at risk households only expected to return when new safe working environment measures have been implemented and a return to onsite work is consistent with individual medical advice.
  • new sport and leisure facility arrangements to be tested and modified through collaboration between employers, facility operators and workers
  • facility operators to take travel to work and childcare considerations into account in decisions around a phased restart
  • keeping in regular contact with furloughed staff

Travel to work

Health Protection Scotland (HPS) have provided COVID-19 information and guidance for general (non-healthcare) settings and individuals should follow the “personal or work travel and physical distancing” guidance. This reiterates that people should not travel to work if they exhibit any COVID-19 symptoms. The HPS advice and any subsequent safe travelling advice should be factored into company decisions on planned returns to work.

Transport Scotland have produced guidance to assist the public to travel safely during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It is important that the latest version of the Guidance is read: Transport Scotland Covid-19 transition plan.

Mandatory face coverings

A face covering must be worn by all people when in indoor communal areas, except where an exemption applies (as defined in the legislation), or where there is a ‘reasonable excuse’ not to wear a face covering such as eating or drinking and exercising/undertaking physical activity. Or if you have a health condition or you are disabled, including hidden disabilities such as autism, dementia or a learning disability.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

HPS guidance for non-healthcare settings also offers advice on the use of PPE, confirming workplaces should use PPE consistent with local policies and in line with measures justified by a risk assessment. 

Test and protect

Test and Protect, Scotland’s approach to implementing the 'test, trace, isolate, support' strategy is a public health measure designed to break chains of transmission of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the community. The NHS will test people who have symptoms, trace people who may have become infected by spending time in close contact with someone who tests positive, and then support those close contacts to self-isolate.

Advice for employers and facility operators on helping staff who need to self-isolate is also available.

Maintaining customer records

In order to support NHS Scotland’s Test and Protect service, it will be necessary for all sport and leisure facilities/businesses to gather contact information from general public, members and staff. Where attending as a small household group, the contact details for one member – a ‘lead member’ – will be sufficient. You should hold records for a period of 21 days.

Workplaces should become familiar with the Coronavirus (COVID-19): general guidance for safer workplaces on how to support to ensure they are following the correct processes for those showing symptoms as well as the cleaning, laundry and waste procedures.  


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