Guidelines from the 17th November
Following the announcement by the Scottish Government of the 5-level system of ‘protections’ (restrictions) below you will find a summary of the impact on yoga classes (classed as sport) at each level, aligned to the public health advice as each level. The levels can be applied locally or nationally, depending on the prevalence of the virus:
- Level 0: All sporting activity permitted
- Level 1: No adult (18+) indoor contact sport (except professional sport).
- Level 2: Same as level 1.
- Level 3: No adult (18+) indoor non-contact group sport / exercise or adult (18+) indoor contact sport. No outdoor adult (18+) contact sport (except professional sport).
- Level 4: Indoor sports facilities closed. No outdoor contact sport allowed for any age (except professional sport).
To find out what tier your area is in please click on the link below:
Where yoga classes are permitted to run, Yoga Scotland guidelines including risk assessments should be followed and completed to protect public health
Yoga classes, workshops and courses will be impacted by the wider restrictions at each level relating to travel, transport, stadia & events, leisure & entertainment, schools / colleges / universities, workplaces and offices. Meditation & relaxation classes are categorised as group activity when more than 1 household is taking part.
1-2-1 sessions can take place in tier levels 0, 1, 2 & 3. Teachers must ensure that they are meeting no more than 4 other households each day. A risk assessment and all necessary measures must be taken to ensure safety and to limit the risk of COVID-19 transmission. This includes keeping a record of participants in line with data protection regulations and taking bookings online, via email or telephone including contactless payments. If you teach from your home please ensure you are teaching from a dedicated space only used for teaching (i.e not your living room) and your home insurance covers you to do so ensuring you have premises liability which gives you the necessary protection in case of ‘slips and trips’.
Outdoor sessions can take place in tier levels 0, 1, 2 & 3. Outdoor group coaching for organised sports and leisure activities including yoga classes can take place for a maximum of 30 people at any one time. Participants can be from different households and must adhere to the 2 metre physically distanced rules. Teachers must ensure the relevant preparations and risk assessment have been made for teaching outside.
For the purposes of YTT residentials:
Exemptions apply to all levels for essential travel for work, education, shopping, health etc; outdoor exercise; weddings and funerals; and transit through restricted areas
Avoid car sharing with people outside extended household wherever possible. Face coverings compulsory on public transport.
In addition for Level 3: Avoid non-essential use of public transport
In addition for Level 4: No use of public transport, except for essential purposes
Currently the following regions are restricted to these levels (29th October 2020)
Level 3 - Glasgow City, Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire, East Ayrshire, North Ayrshire, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, North Lanarkshire, Inverclyde, City of Edinburgh, Midlothian, East Lothian, West Lothian, Clackmannanshire, Falkirk, Stirling, Dundee.
Level 2 - Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Argyll & Bute, Borders, Dumfries & Galloway, Fife, Perth & Kinross.
Level 1 - Highland, Moray, Orkney, Shetland, Western Isles.
It is the responsibility of each venue operator and teacher to ensure documented risk assessments (download on right available), based on local circumstances, are completed prior to any activity taking place. Consider safety first, particularly focusing on minimising the risk of infection/transmission. Appropriate measures must be put in place to ensure participants, staff and volunteers are protected at all times. This includes physical distance measures between participants.
Teachers should ensure hand sanitisers or wipes are available for use at entrance/exit to activity where possible and ask participants to bring their own hand sanitiser (hand sanitiser should be at least 60% alcohol based and detergent wipes appropriate for the surface they are being used on).
Participants should bring their own equipment where possible, including yoga props. If teachers are providing mats and equipment, they must be sanitised between users. Participants should arrive in the appropriate clothing for the session as changing is not advisable. No personal equipment should be left at a facility by a teacher or participant once the class has ended.
Online bookings should be taken if possible. If not, alternative measures should be put in place including phone bookings. Where possible and in line with Data Protection regulations, a register of users should be kept in case there is a need to track and trace. Please follow any guidance provided by your employer or venue operator. Consider introducing buffer periods between sessions to stagger start times so that participants do not all arrive/leave at the same time. Where possible use online or contactless payment options and avoid handling cash.
The resources SportsScotland have created are excellent and include checklists and risk assessments. To download:
And this link takes you the link for guidelines for facilities and community spaces should also be following:
All further information and resources from Sports Scotland can be found here:
Guidelines - Venue Expectations - Yoga Scotland – 2020/21
As classes are returning to venues, Yoga Scotland expects the safety measures below to be in place at any venue teachers use.
A risk assessment must be completed by the Teacher and a paper copy should be signed and kept to ensure evidence of the check being completed.
These guidelines have been adapted from government guidelines and standards being established by public venues/studios/indoor spaces operated in Scotland during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Yoga Scotland is committed to ensuring that it’s Teachers and their class participants, are safe and have a clear understanding of these guidelines.
The following guidelines are in accordance with government guidelines following the announcement that that indoor sport facilities and gyms can reopen from 31 August 2020 onwards
Hygiene measures at venue:
- Hand sanitation on entering the building and/or studio room
- Soap, paper towels, hand drier available in the WC areas
- No tea/coffee, shared food area - participants bring their own refreshments / water bottles
- Removal of all non-essential equipment
- Studio door handles, toilets, floors should be cleaned prior to the start of the session. Appropriate cleaning regularly throughout the day. Touch spots like door handles, flush handles to be disinfected between each use, disinfectant to be provided.
- Protocol for contact & trace measures if anyone develops symptoms post session
- Protocol for a participant who develops Covid-19 symptoms while in situ
- No congregating in doorways. Adhering to the 2 metre distance guidelines at all times, as best as possible. Ideally, venues will have one-way systems in place to follow.
- Mats not to be in circles or face to face - guidance on distancing indoors is still 2 metres in Scotland, this may be reduced to 1 metre if masks are worn.
- Foot sanitising if possible
- When teaching on carpets, if the carpets can not be disinfected or steam cleaned, then a protective layer is suggested. This may be a sheet, dust sheet or a carpet protection film available from builders / decorator merchants
- Participants bring their own sanitised mat and equipment including a mask
- Participants to bring your own hand sanitiser
- Wash hands regularly during the day and avoid touching your face.
- Identifying high risk people and ensuring they do not attend class
- Risk assessment check list completed before class starts
- Ensure guidelines and safety measures are adhered to and participants feel safe
- Adequate ventilation measures are in place. Opening windows and doors if possible
- Practices such as nadi shodhana (or practices which require touching the face), or kapalabhati/bhastrika and simhasana (using a forceful exhale) as well as chanting, paired asana or physical adjustment must be avoided. These would need to be taught online.
Yoga Scotland insured teachers are covered to teach both indoors and outdoors when you are able to do so, subject to the Government guidelines.
Well being Insurance has confirmed the following extensions to insurance cover (19.03.20):
Insurance underwriters have just made the following extensions to insurance cover. If you are planning to live stream yoga classes or pre-record yoga classes for your students, please read the update carefully.
(1) Live streaming classes will be covered if the teacher can see the students and vice versa. These will be students known to the teacher including knowledge of students’ pre-existing medical conditions.
(2) Pre-recorded classes will be covered when (a) students have signed a legal disclaimer to state that participation in the class is at their own risk, (b) the online class is via a secure platform that requires a personal password/ID for the student to access the class, (c) students are already registered with the teacher, are known to them, have previously attended at least one class or had an initial assessment with the teacher on a 1:1 basis or small class setting prior to the student participating (d) the class must be suitable for remote teaching and the teacher must proactively discuss and encourage students to practice in a suitable environment, (e) the teacher doesn’t introduce new movements or poses that have not already seen their students practice.
To view and/or download the full Insurance update document please click here.
Thank you for your patience at this evolving & challenging time.