We’ve missed you all so much, and we’re so excited to be welcoming you back! As ever, our primary concern is safety, not just of our students but also of our staff. For the sake of our instructors, who are trying their best to get back on their feet, please follow these rules as if your livelihood depends on it… because theirs does.
We have to stress that it’s important for everyone to take responsibility for themselves in following these rules. We reserve the right to instruct anyone who doesn’t adhere to this policy to leave the studio immediately, and the terms of our Waiver and T&Cs will apply to any such event. Whatever measures we take, we cannot guarantee that you will not come into contact with the virus in the course of visiting our studio. All we can do is attempt to minimise the risk. Every person coming into the studio must make their own decision to do so, having regard to their own personal circumstances.
Our strategy is to try to minimise the possibility of both airborne transmission and surface transmission.
General rules (you’ll recognise these as the government-distributed advice)
- Wash hands properly and often (soap and water, washing hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds);
- Maintain the government-recommended distance from everyone else in the studio at all times (helpfully, our main studio flooring is in 1mx1m tiles so distance should be fairly easy to judge);
- Try not to face each other when talking (this shouldn’t be too difficult as there’s usually something going on in the room that’s worth watching);
- If you have symptoms or you have come into contact with the virus then stay at home;
- Make sure to follow any other government advice.
Rules specific to our studio
- You must wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water just before coming into the studio. Between the bathroom and the studio, you must use a paper towel to open doors and then put the paper towel in the bin outside the studio before entering;
- If you sneeze, cough, or touch your face while in the studio then you must go back and wash your hands again following the same procedure as above;
- Always use a large tissue to cover your nose and mouth to “catch” coughs or sneezes, preferably stepping outside the studio first. Immediately put the tissue in the bin outside the studio after use and then wash your hands following the same procedure as above.
- “Catching” a cough or sneeze in your elbow while in the studio should be a last resort, and if it happens then you will be required to go and wash your arm with soap and water if your arm was bare, or remove your clothing if your arm was covered. We’d recommend bringing along a spare top, as you will not be permitted to use equipment wearing clothes that have been used to catch a sneeze. If you’ve sneezed into your elbow before arriving at the studio then the same rules apply.
- If you have any reason to suspect you may have come into contact with the virus then do not come to the studio. This is regardless of current government advice on this – we cannot tolerate anyone taking this kind of risk at the expense of others in the studio. Please only join us when it’s safe to do so.
Recommendations while in the studio
- You may use hand sanitiser as often as you like during your session. We would recommend use of sanitiser after each turn on the equipment. For safety reasons and to protect our equipment, please make sure any sanitiser is thoroughly rubbed in and your hands are completely dry before going back on the equipment.
- We will no longer be able to provide shared studio rosin, so if you like using it then please make sure you bring some along.
- Please try to limit verbal communication to what is necessary and save catchups for a socially distanced walk in the park after training is finished. Evidence suggests that the virus spreads much more easily when a carrier is talking, laughing, shouting or singing. We’ll still have loads of fun, but for the time being it will need to be non-verbal fun as much as possible. Of course, if you need help then it’s important to communicate that to us.
- Please don’t touch anything in the studio that you don’t need to touch… including each other! Please don’t give the instructors a reason to have to assist you out of a difficult situation. Now, more than ever, we’re relying on you to pace your progression to make sure you’re safe at all times.
- If you’re showing a video to a friend in class or training, send it to their phone rather than showing them on your own phone.
We’ve set out below our understanding of the transmission risks and how the above measures aim to minimise those risks.
Alongside the measures set out below, thorough hand washing and not touching your face are critical elements to avoiding surface transmission. Although it’s wise to be mindful of the possibility of surface transmission, scientific studies suggest that this is not thought to be the main way that the virus spreads.
Disinfecting high touch surfaces
We will be disinfecting equipment and other high-touch surfaces in the studio between classes or as appropriate.
Quarantining high touch equipment
There is constant development in the scientific community’s understanding of the virus, and we are doing our best to stay informed about current knowledge of the natural lifetime of the virus on different types of surface. Where appropriate, equipment will be quarantined for a set number of hours or days between classes.
“Catching” coughs and sneezes in your elbow
In everyday life we’re not always going to be prepared with a tissue. The idea behind catching a cough or sneeze in your elbow generally is that that is preferable to not covering it at all. Avoiding catching it in your hands helps to prevent spread of the virus as the crook of your elbow, in everyday life, is much less likely to come into contact with anything after you’ve sneezed than your hands are.
However, when we’re using equipment in the studio, our elbows are highly likely to come into contact with that equipment. To limit the spread of the virus in this way, we cannot allow anyone who has coughed or sneezed into their elbow to use the equipment before removing affected clothes or washing the elbow with soap and water. We will do our best to keep the studio stocked with boxes of large tissues, but please help us by bringing your own supply and keeping it close to hand while you’re in the studio.
We do not recommend wearing gloves in class or during training.
According to current advice, the potential negative consequences of wearing gloves outweigh the positives. Our main reasons for advising against the use of gloves are:-
- Gloves must be of a particular type and worn correctly in order to not reduce your grip on the equipment. There will be a period of adjustment to wearing gloves if you have not previously trained in gloves. Any perceived benefit of wearing gloves to protect against viral infection may be outweighed by a higher risk of injury from falling if gloves are worn;
- Gloves (which must be used correctly to be at all effective in reducing disease transmission) may provide a false sense of security to wearers, and we would prefer that the focus remains on hand washing, not touching your face, and limiting contact.
People who are infected with the virus can spread it through droplets in the air. To limit the possibility of the virus spreading this way in the studio, we are limiting class sizes and class durations. We are keeping these measures under review to make sure they fit in with current government advice and our own understanding of the best ways to keep you all safe while doing what you love.
Limiting verbal communication
Evidence suggests that carriers of the virus are at more risk of infecting others when talking, laughing or singing. As mentioned above, we’ll still have loads of fun in the studio but for the time being please try to limit anything that requires extra effort on the part of your lungs – that’s when you’re most at risk of spreading the virus if you are infected. Of course, if you’re in danger or need help then it’s still important to communicate that to us.
There has been some mixed messaging about the usefulness of face masks. We will enforce current government guidelines on mask wearing as a minimum. We will also keep our own policies under review and reserve the right to require students to wear masks.
The more people you come into contact with during the day, the more chance there is of you picking up the virus at some point. You may be able to transmit the virus without ever realising you have had it. If the virus spreads too quickly, then our health service will be in danger of becoming overwhelmed which may result in restrictions being reinstated. We can all play our part in helping to prevent this.
We understand that everybody’s circumstances are different so it’s not possible for us to create a blanket rule that covers all eventualities. We simply ask that you please consider your own circumstances, including how many people you come into contact with and what level of risk your contact with others involves. If you’re still working from home and respecting social distancing rules when seeing people outside of your household then the chances of you bringing the virus into the studio are relatively low. If you’re back in your workplace, using public transport, or not following social distancing measures when seeing people outside of your household then we ask that you consider whether coming along to the studio poses an unfair risk to our instructors and other users of the studio.
If everyone plays their part, you can to help us protect our studio community.
Having to temporarily close down again as a result of someone’s failure to follow this policy could lead to our permanent closure. We recognise that we have a responsibility to try to keep you all as safe as possible, and in return we respectfully ask that you help us to protect our livelihoods and our families by adhering to this policy, even if it is sometimes inconvenient.
We can’t wait to see you all again!