From 16th August 2021, the rules regarding self-isolation changed and if you have been double vaccinated you will not need to self-isolate if you have come into contact with a positive case of Covid-19. If you, yourself, test positive for Covid-19, you still have to self-isolate, regardless of your vaccination status or age. This means we are able to get our teachers back in to the water and back to teaching in the way they always did pre-Covid-19.
With social distancing having been removed, we have been able to get our teachers back in the water. However, it won’t be all of our teachers, all at once and here is the reason why your teacher may not be back in the water just yet:
If they joined Puddle Ducks during the Covid-19 pandemic (we are proud to say, across the UK, we have recruited and trained 72 teachers since March 2020), they haven’t yet taught your little ones from in the water, only from the poolside. These teachers are fully qualified and have been assessed in every aspect of the Puddle Ducks programme, except handling children in the water. We can’t compromise on our standards and we know you wouldn’t want us to, so until we can physically assess each of these teachers in the water, they won’t be able to lead a class from in the water. This means two things:
- If your teacher has not yet been assessed in the water, they will continue to teach from poolside until this assessment has been done.
- While your teacher is being assessed you may have two teachers in the pool, your regular teacher and another teacher who is already assessed for teaching in the water.
Please be assured that if your teacher is not yet in the water, it is in no way a sign that they are ‘less qualified’ than one who is in the water, they have had all the same training, it is just that the opportunity to assess them handling children in the water has not been available until now. This applies to our Baby & Pre-school classes (England, Wales & Scotland) as well as our Swim Academy Levels 1 & 2 (England only).
If your child is in Swim Academy Levels 1 & 2, in England, as soon as your teachers are back in the water, parents/carers will no longer be in the water. We know some of you will have loved being back in the water with your children and some will be happy to be back on dry land but we are thrilled to be getting back to normal with our Swim Academy lessons and watching them turn into amazing, independent swimmers.
We will be getting round them all as soon as we possibly can so please, bear with us while we get everyone assessed.
We hope that those pools who allowed spectators before Covid-19 will now allow spectators again. This will be pool specific and your local team will communicate the changes for the pool in which you swim.
We need to understand that there are some pools who may not return to having spectators, due to the environment they are in, but we will work with them to ensure that everyone feels safe and that our customers have every reasonable opportunity to bring spectators.
Cleaning, Equipment, Moving Around Venues and Changing Rooms
One consequence of the pandemic that will not be reneged on for the foreseeable future is the additional cleaning; cleaning of equipment, of high traffic areas (rails, door handles etc.) and of changing rooms. The cleaning brings with it additional costs for both Puddle Ducks and the venues we operate from. In order to bring an end to social distancing, we must maintain cleaning. The use of changing rooms has been prohibited in some, not all, of our venues during the pandemic due to social distancing and the additional resources required to regularly clean facilities and we may find that some of these changing rooms remain closed as whilst the need to be socially distant may have disappeared, the requirement to clean hasn’t gone away.
Many of you will hopefully find you are back in the changing rooms but this will be pool specific and your local team will communicate the changes for the pool in which you swim.
The status of your changing rooms will affect the amount of time before your lesson you need to arrive and whether you still need to arrive swim ready so please do check on the Pool Information page for your pool which you will find via the Our Pools & Classes page on your local team's section of the website.
Equipment will still be sanitized between lessons by the act of being in the chlorinated water for 15-20 seconds and in addition to this, all equipment will be fully disinfected at the end of a session. You will see all the equipment you were used to pre-Covid being brought back into the lessons and we know many of our little swimmers will be thrilled to see the big floats back in our lessons and getting back to old favourites like 'Jelly on a Plate'!
We will continue to encourage the use of Face Coverings for adults at the pools, for everyone’s safety. The government in England produced guidance from 10th December 2021 stating: 'In indoor settings where a face covering is not legally required, you should still continue to wear a face covering (unless you are exempt) in crowded and enclosed spaces where you may come into contact with other people you do not normally meet.' Face coverings should not be worn in the pool itself.
If you swim in Scotland or Wales, continue as you have been according to the guidance in your areas.
Thank you for your co-operation in this area.
What if I or my child has symptoms of Covid-19
If you or your child has symptoms of Covid-19, follow Government guidelines at the time.
What if I am uncomfortable with the teacher handling my child?
We fully appreciate that not everyone is comfortable with the lifting of restrictions and as has always been the case, if you have any concerns or would like to request that our teachers don’t handle your child for the time being, then please, just tell your local office or your teacher.
We also ask that our customers respect the wishes of our teachers who may have reasons to not feel comfortable about getting close again. This will not affect the lesson but there may be times during activities where they will support your child from the side rather than face on - this will in no way affect the activity or the opportunity for your child to progress.
Our promise to you, to keep us all safe
Please be assured that Puddle Ducks will be ready to react immediately if we are faced with new restrictions or lock downs. Our priority is, and always has been, the safety of our customers and our teams. As such, many of the safety procedures we put in place, including cleaning and regular testing of our team members will stay in place. You can read more here.
What we expect from our customers to help keep us all safe
We created an addendum to our Terms & Conditions to deal with Covid-19 and we ask that our customers take reasonable, proportionate steps in accordance with
published guidance, to respond to the current (known) risks associated with the virus. You can read it here.