Rwanda: 10 Things to Know As Gyms, Swimming Pools Are Set to Re-Open

2 December 2020

The Ministry of Sports on Wednesday, December 2, issued guidelines to be observed during physical exercises in swimming pools and gyms, in prevention Covid-19 spread.

This follows a recent cabinet meeting held last week, which among others gave a green light to these facilities after more than 8 months where they had been banned to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.

Below are 10 things you need to know about these new guidelines:

Protective equipment

As stipulated by the new guidelines, attendants of swimming pools who are not in water must wear their respective face masks and only remove them when entering the water.

For gyms, face masks must be worn correctly before and after practice. Gym staff and personnel must also be given appropriate protective gear for their daily duties. They include gloves, face shields, face masks and cleaning towels.

Symptomatic clients restricted

As per the new guidelines, individuals with symptoms of fever, coughing, headache and flu are not allowed in gyms, at pool side nor in the pool itself.

No sharing of equipment

In bid to prevent the spread of Covid-19, individuals going in swimming pools and gyms are advised to avoid sharing equipment such as towels, gloves and mats among others.

Individuals going at these facilities are also urged to have their own sanitizers to use whenever necessary.

Social distancing

Gym clients are supposed to respect physical distancing of two meters during practice. Group exercise sessions must also not exceed 50 percent of the facility's capacity in bid to ensure social distancing.

For swimming pools, the guidelines instruct users to respect a 2.5 meter distance between them while swimming.

Online booking and payment

Both swimming pools and gyms were instructed to avail electronic/online booking methods for their respective customers and have all payments done using cashless method.

Thorough cleaning between sessions

For gyms, the Ministry of Sports noted that they should allow a minimum 1-hour window for deep cleaning and aeration of the facility between every practice session.

Every practice session for both gyms and swimming pools, as per new guidelines, must not exceed two hours.

For swimming pools, they must conduct testing of the pools every day before and after usage of these facilities, and not between sessions as for gyms.

Swimming trainers banned

The new guidelines stipulate that swimming trainers are no longer allowed to operate for the meantime.

Normally, every swimming pool had a trainer that would teach beginners how to swim. With the social distancing directive in place, giving such lessons would be difficult.

Temperature screening

Both gyms and swimming pools must avail individuals who will be testing temperature of everyone accessing these premises and monitor that all Covid-19 preventive measures are being adhered to.

Inspection before resumption of every facility

All swimming pools and gyms that want to resume operations, says the statement by the Ministry of Sports, will submit an official request for authorization and address it to the Minister of Sports with a copy to the CEO of RDB.

An inspection shall be conducted per request received, and later determine whether the given facility is deemed to resume or not.

Swimming in open waters remain on hold for the public

Swimming in open waters such as lakes, ponds and rivers among others is only allowed for professional clubs doing their trainings, and they also must have official authorization.

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