Covid Policy

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 or the session they are in immediately, and the terms of our Waiver and T&Cs will apply to any such event.

Please note that whatever measures we take, we cannot guarantee that you will not come into contact with the virus in the course of attending our classes, sessions or events. All we can do is attempt to minimise the risk. Every person in attendance must make their own decision to come along, having regard to their own personal circumstances and the risks involved. 

For more information on how our class structures have been modified in response to covid-19, please head to our changes to classes post-covid page.

This is a dynamic situation and this policy will be updated accordingly. Please check back here frequently to refresh your memory of the policy and to check for any updates. This policy was last updated on 12 September 2020.

Our Aims

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)

  1. Wash hands properly and often (soap and water, washing hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds).
  2. Maintain the government-recommended distance from everyone else at all times (helpfully, our main studio flooring is in 1mx1m tiles so distance should be fairly easy to judge).
  3. 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).
  4. If you have symptoms, or if you have come into contact with the virus, have been contacted by the test and trace service or have been notified that you must quarantine after travel, then stay at home.
  5. Make sure to follow any other government advice.

Rules specific to our studio

  1. 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.
  1. Always use a large tissue to cover your nose and mouth to “catch” coughs or sneezes, preferably stepping outside the studio first or well away from others if you’re outside. Immediately put the tissue in the bin outside the studio after use and then wash your hands following the same procedure as above.
  1. “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.
  1. Do not arrive more than 5 minutes before the start time of your class, and make sure to follow rules and instructions of leisure centre staff regarding social distancing.
  1.  Leave the centre as quickly as you can at the end of class. Save catch-ups for a socially distanced walk in the park.

Recommendations while in the studio

  1. You may use hand sanitiser as often as you like during your session. We particularly recommend use of sanitiser after touching your phone or water bottle. 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.
  1. We will no longer provide shared studio rosin, so if you like using it then please make sure you bring some along.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.

Rules relating to Class Bookings

If you’re booked into a class you must come alone, you cannot bring anyone to the vicinity of the studio to watch or to wait for you.

Woking Park, right on the doorstep of the studio, is a lovely place to pass the time if needed for a companion or designated driver. There is also a cafe in the centre (by reception) with socially distanced tables both inside and outdoors.

Rules relating to Private Bookings

Permitted people in addition to participants

All private bookings may have one Registered Spectator per booked session. 

Group bookings with no adult participants must have one Registered Supervisor with them who must remain in the vicinity of the studio throughout the booking. This can be the same person as the Registered Spectator, or a different person.

For details on these roles, please read below.

Please note that we can only permit a maximum of one Registered Spectator and one Registered Supervisor per booking, everyone else must leave the vicinity of the studio. Your instructor can provide clarification on where waiting is permitted, and their instructions must be followed. 

Woking Park, right on the doorstep of the studio, is a lovely place to pass the time. There is also a cafe in the centre (by reception) with socially distanced tables both inside and outdoors.

Registered Spectator

  • You may have one spectator for each booking.
  • We have a handy viewing platform and your spectator can view sessions in progress from there, but as this platform is not physically partitioned from the studio we are strictly limiting spectators to one per booking (so, for example, one spectator per large group private tuition session, rather than one spectator per participant). This is for the safety and comfort of our guests and instructors, as we try to limit the risk of virus transmission.
  • Please note that your spectator will not be in the studio with the participants, and will only be permitted to watch from the viewing platform.
  • The spectator will be required to register their details with us prior to the session.
  • The spectator must wear a face covering while watching the session.

Registered Supervisor

  • There must be one adult in the vicinity of the studio during any booking that doesn’t include an adult. This is to facilitate the running of the session without interruptions, including but not limited to chaperoning toilet breaks for participants while the session continues.
  • The Registered Supervisor will not be able to watch the session, but must remain in the vicinity of the studio for the duration of the session.
  • Your instructor will tell you where your Registered Supervisor can wait so that they can be called if necessary.
  • The supervisor will be required to register their details with us prior to the session.
  • The supervisor must follow instructions of studio and centre staff on social distancing and face coverings.
  • We’d suggest the supervisor bring something to do, such as a book to read. Please don’t wear headphones as we need to be able to call your attention easily.

Photography/Media

Your Registered Spectator is allowed to document the fun for you to share with others afterwards! It is the Registered Spectator’s responsibility to make sure they have express permission to photograph and/or video every person involved with the booking before doing so. 

If the booking is not an exclusive studio booking then the Registered Spectator must avoid having people who aren’t part of their booking in the background of their photos.

When to arrive for your session/depart from your session

Please do not bring the first of your participants to the studio more than 5 minutes before the start of your booked session.

Please make sure that all of your participants are safely picked up within five minutes of the end of your booked session. 

Travel to and from the studio

It is the booker’s responsibility to ensure that participants’ travel to and from the booked session (right up to and right from the door of the studio) is in line with government guidelines and laws.  This includes, but is not limited to, government guidance and laws on social distancing and maximum numbers allowed at social gatherings. 

By way of example, for group bookings involving children, bookers must ensure that they organise drop-off of the children in a way that does not contravene rules on social distancing or limits on social gatherings. One suggestion is to have participants meet beforehand in two smaller groups, with an appropriate number of adults supervising each group. Each group should then be dropped off and picked up from the studio separately, to avoid prohibited sizes of gatherings in or around the studio. 

We know this requires a little more organising, but it is important for your safety, and the safety and wellbeing of our instructors, for this organising to be planned in advance. If there is a bottleneck of people at the studio then the entire group will be asked to leave and reorganise themselves away from the studio to come back safely. Obviously, this will cause a delay to the start of your booking, but the end time of your booking will not change. We simply cannot compromise on this. 

Policy Rationale

We’ve set out below our understanding of the transmission risks and how the above measures aim to minimise those risks.

Surface Transmission

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, 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. We are limiting the use and sharing of equipment and, 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 it 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.

Gloves

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:-

  1. 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;
  1. 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.

Airborne Transmission

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 group 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.

Face Masks

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.

Even if we are not currently requiring masks to be worn in the studio, you are welcome to request that your instructor wears a mask for the duration of your session if you are making a private booking. Please make this request clear at the time of enquiry.

Transmission Chains

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 it does then please don’t book or register for a session with us.

If everyone plays their part, you can help us to protect our studio community. 

In Summary

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!