Maintaining a COVID Secure environment
As we head out of lockdown 3.0 and re-open the Centre on 12 April, it’s important to remind our staff and customers about the COVID Secure protocols we have put in place. While the vaccination programme continues apace and case numbers are stabilising, we believe the following measures will be in place for at least the remainder of 2021. However, we will revise them each term, and we expect some relaxation to occur towards the end of the year.
Over recent weeks, we’ve been busy reviewing our site plans, risk assessments, staff and customer protocols in line with updated HM Government and Swimming National Governing Body (NGB) guidance. If you swam after the first two lockdowns, very little has changed in terms of the site and workflow. If this is your first term with us, we hope it helps reassure you about the measures we are putting in place for your safety.
We have equipped all Calmababy Staff with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). They will wear this when appropriate to their duties. Our staff have completed COVID-19 training modules and risk assessments to understand what is required to keep our customers COVID secure. **Refresher modules have also been completed before our re-opening. Please support our staff by following their instructions.
With pre-swim checks, we initially considered a host of measures such as temperature testing, medical questionnaires and health screening, all of which provide a level of reassurance. Unfortunately, they are by no means a catch-all solution.
As we now know from extensive research, complications include pre-infectious or asymptomatic individuals, differing symptoms and core body temperature variations. There are also enhanced concerns about data privacy. On balance, and after seeking guidance, we decided not to undertake temperature testing for customers. However, there will be health screening questions upon arrival, which will continue until further notice.
In simple terms, we feel the government has laid out clear advice on when we should self-isolate. You must not visit Calmababy if either you, your child, a family member or someone you have been in contact with is showing symptoms or is unwell. As we have seen with COVID-19, self-isolation is one of our best defences against the virus’s further spread.
Government and NGB guidance recommends pool users shower pre & post-swim at home and arrive ‘beach style’ with their costume under their clothes. For children wearing nappies, we recommend changing them into their swim nappy on arrival in the dry changing rooms.
By temporarily closing the showers, it frees the space up for additional changing stations. We appreciate this may not be ideal; however, it is only a short term measure until further relaxations on social distancing come into place. To help us maintain our excellent water quality, please shower thoroughly before leaving home.
When you arrive at the Centre, please complete the health screening and track and trace requirements by scanning the QR code using your smartphone. **You are welcome to use either the NHS or our QR code, both of which are on display in reception.
Please do not arrive in the building any earlier than ten minutes before your class unless you are going into Selina’s cafe. There will be no access to the changing rooms before this time. Entrance to the building is through the main doors, and socially distanced queuing, if required, will be in place outside under Selina’s windows.
The receptionist will check you in as there will be no iPad’s on the reception desk for now and will let you through to the changing rooms in time for your session. Please observe social distancing guidelines and Calmababy signage and directions at all times during your visit.
Please wear a suitable face mask (where practicable) for protection during your visits. However, once face masks get wet, their effectiveness significantly reduces, which means you cannot wear them in the pool.
There is a one-way system in place throughout the changing areas. We have created a unisex dry changing room with cubicles for your privacy to change before your class. After swimming, there are separate wet changing areas for men and women.
You’ll need to take all of your belongings (including shoes) with you into the pool hall because of the one-way system. Please bring a large bag with you. The blue Ikea bags are ideal for this, and we have a small number available should you need one.
Please remain in the changing rooms until your class start time. The teacher will invite you in when the class before yours has exited the pool hall. **Keep an ear out for the buzzer!
The poolside team are cleaning changing rooms after every use. There are socially distanced changing stations and markers showing you where to go; please observe social distancing while in these areas.
We have plenty of space in our pool, and we follow government and NGB guidance, which requires a minimum of three square meters per bather. For all our classes, there will be a reduced number of bathers in the pool. Please respect social distancing in the pool and on the pool deck during lessons.
We endeavour to keep your experience of classes the same as it has always been. Lessons run as expected, but some adaptations are necessary. For example, instructors may teach from the poolside on occasion.
We aim to have only one class in the pool hall at any given time. The teacher will take a few minutes at the end of each class to allow for the bathers’ safe movement through the pool hall. They also clean handrails and equipment after every session.
We must limit the number of people in the pool and around the building for the time being. We can only accommodate one adult swimming with each child per class. At this stage, we are unable to offer additional swim spaces or allow spectators in the pool hall corridor.
Replacement classes are available as usual; please make your bookings via the Calmababy App.
If you need assistance to attend your classes, such as a medical condition or disability, please contact us to make suitable arrangements.
Pool disinfection and air handling
We have always maintained the highest standards of pool water quality and disinfection. The Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group (PWTAG) has issued updated guidance which we have implemented. Their advice is to maintain a lower pH and ensure primary disinfection remains at the high end of the pool range for increased safety.
Our pool has secondary disinfection via UV filtration; this eliminates 99% of all micro-organisms. PWTAG, in conjunction with Public Health England (PHE), has confirmed correct disinfection levels in swimming pools help kill the virus within 15-30 seconds. COVID-19 is not waterborne or transmitted through pool water. Research from the World Health Organisation (WHO) shows that similar coronaviruses are sensitive to chlorination and UV light.
The main risk in a swimming pool is person-to-person respiratory transmission–similar to any indoor public space. In 2016, we installed a Heatstar EC XF air handling unit at Calmababy. The system uses fresh air cooling to modulate the room’s temperature, humidity, and fresh air intake. At full speed, it can deliver 3000m³/hr of fresh air into our pool hall. The unit is currently running at 100% fresh air circulation, completely replacing the air in the pool hall every ten minutes.
We have always strived to maintain the highest standards of cleanliness at Calmababy. In addition to cleaning changing rooms after every use, the team will be paying particular attention to touchpoints around the building. We have also purchased a fogging machine that releases an anti-viral mist disinfecting all surfaces in any room. The device is used in changing rooms and high traffic areas around the building to ensure adequate disinfection of all surfaces. Deep cleaning will continue every evening as per our pre-lockdown routines.
After your classes, you are welcome to exit the building using the fire door at the end of the women’s changing room corridor or via reception. Access to Selina’s cafe is via the pool hall corridor through to reception. Be aware there may be other customers queuing for their class in this area. So please ensure you continue to follow social distancing guidelines on your way through to the cafe.
But what about the cake?!
Selina’s will be open for eat-in (after 17 May) and takeaway options. The garden area has eight tables, and these will be available to book throughout the summer months from 12 April. We also have a deli fridge stocked with a lovely range of items. And of course, as always, there will be plenty of cake!
**The team regularly clean the play equipment in the outdoor area during opening hours. Please help us maintain the equipment’s cleanliness by cleaning after your child has used the area using the materials provided.
It is important to note that government and NGB guidance is changing in real-time. We expect to update some of the measure outlined in this document to keep pace with these changes, and we will inform you whenever this happens. If you are still unsure or have further questions, please talk to us–we are here to help.
Health and safety remain our number one priority at all times. We trust these steps offer reassurance that we are doing everything we can to make Calmababy COVID safe for your family.
Let’s hope this is the final time we have to re-open following a national lockdown. Once again, thank you for your co-operation.